A perennial herb of meadows, pastures and roadsides, often in river valley floodplains and showing a strong preference for sticky clay soils. In coastal areas it is frequently abundant in grazing marsh grasslands and on earthen sea walls. Lowland.
The map suggests little apparent change in the distribution of H. secalinum since the 1962 Atlas, apart from losses in a few outlying squares in N. and W. Britain. However, in some counties it is reported to be decreasing due to drainage, re-seeding and the conversion of grassland to arable. It can, however, withstand modest improvement. Its overall distribution is stable in Ireland.
European Temperate element.