An annual or bennial herb of dry, infertile calcareous or base-rich substrates, but also found in flushed sites on neutral or mildly acidic soils. It occurs in a wide range of calcareous grasslands, mires and flushes, in short-sedge fen-meadows, on outcrops and ledges of basic rock, road cuttings, quarry spoil and lead-mine debris, and very locally on dry heaths. 0-840 m (Breadalbanes, Mid Perth).
L. catharticum was mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas. It has probably declined in many areas, particularly in S. England where local losses are beginning to show at the 10-km square scale.
European Temperate element; also in N. America.
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