This very variable, erect to decumbent, clumped to extensively rhizomatous herb is found in a wide range of wet or damp habitats, both freshwater and brackish. It is characteristic of damp fields, marshes, ditches, flushes, rutted woodland rides, margins of ponds, lakes and streams and dune-slacks, avoiding only the most acid soils. 0-810 m (Great Dun Fell, Westmorland).
There is no change in the overall range of J. articulatus since the 1962 Atlas.
Eurosiberian Southern-temperate element, but widely naturalised so that distribution is now Circumpolar Southern-temperate.