An annual to perennial herb, typically occurring in disturbed and shaded places, and thriving over a wide range of soil acidity and moisture. Habitats include open woodland, scrub, hedgerows, waste and cultivated ground, railway banks, roadsides and old walls. 0-440 m (Clun Forest, Salop).
There has been no discernible change in the range of L. communis since the 1962 Atlas. Almost all our plants are subsp. communis, but the normally perennial subsp. intermedia, a well-established introduction, has been recorded from a few sites.
European Temperate element; also in C. Asia and widely naturalised outside its native range.