A patch-forming perennial herb of neutral and calcareous grassland, growing in clearings in woods, in meadows, pastures and lawns, on roadsides and waste ground, typically associated with moist, fertile soils. It forms clonal patches in short-grazed turf and spreads by the detachment of daughter ramets. 0-755 m (Knock Fell, Westmorland), and 845 m on Great Dun Fell (Westmorland).
P. vulgaris is very frequent throughout Britain and Ireland, and in areas where it has been mapped in detail it has usually proved to be present in almost all tetrads. There is no evidence for a change in overall distribution.
Circumpolar Wide-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.