A tall perennial herb, naturalised by streams and rivers, and in fens, fen-woodland, swamps and marshy grassland. Lowland.
Introduced before 1600 and originally grown for medicinal use, the first record of S. fluviatilis in the wild was in 1633. The somewhat clustered distribution of records suggest independent spread from several different sites; it is now grown in gardens, so many recent records are probably garden escapes. It has persisted in many places, especially in the north, although some pre-1930 colonies have now gone.
S. fluviatilis has a Eurosiberian Temperate distribution; it is naturalised in N.W. Europe beyond its native range.
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