This deciduous perennial herb is found in a wide range of habitats, especially open heaths, moors, bogs and fens, but also in open birchwoods, mountain grassland and cliffs and stony lake margins. It is found on mildly basic to strongly acidic peats and mineral soils which are permanently or seasonally wet. 0-870 m (Meikle Kilrannoch, Angus).
M. caerulea, mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas, has declined in some lowland areas through habitat destruction. Conversely, it has increased in frequency where grazing has ceased. Subsp. caerulea is found throughout the range of the species, subsp. arundinacea is widespread but scattered in fens and by rivers and canals.
Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 8
Reaction (Ellenberg): 3
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.2
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1179
Height (cm): 130
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Comment on Clonality
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2244
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 897
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 6
Atlas Change Index: -0.34
Weighted Changed Factor: -3
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
2001. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 216. Molinia caerulea (L.) Moench. Journal of Ecology. 89:126-144.
1988. Two subspecies of Molinia caerulea (L.) Moench in the British Isles. Watsonia. 17:153-157.