A perennial herb occurring in dry, sunny pastures on chalk and limestone, and on rock ledges on limestone cliffs. It prefers a S.-facing aspect, an open situation, and is able to colonise bare chalk, such as that in new road cuttings. Generally lowland, but reaching 600 m on Long Fell, Warcop (Westmorland).
The map suggests little change in this species, other than a few losses from outlying squares and around the fringes of its core areas. However, county floras report declines, even within its main strongholds, due to grassland improvement, conversion to arable and scrub encroachment following the cessation of grazing.
European Temperate element.
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Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 3
Reaction (Ellenberg): 8
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16
Annual Precipitation (mm): 814
Height (cm): 25
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 348
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 2
Atlas Change Index: -0.54
Weighted Changed Factor: -29
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1973. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 134. Hippocrepis comosa L. Journal of Ecology. 61:915-926.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.