This dioecious rhizomatous perennial herb is naturalised on streamsides, banks, rough ground and roadsides, where it sometimes forms large, very persistent stands. Lowland.
P. fragrans was introduced in 1806, and the male plant is grown as an ornamental in gardens and some churchyards. It was known in the wild by at least 1835 (Middlesex), and was well established by the start of the 20th century (Dunn, 1905). It appears to be still spreading in Britain and Ireland. Female plants are unknown in our area.
Native of the C. Mediterranean region in Europe (Italy, Sicily, Sardinia) and of N. Africa.