A low shrub, often dominant on heaths, moors and nutrient-poor grasslands, and in open woodland on acidic soils, ranging from dry exposed habitats to wet peat bogs. It can colonise newly available habitats. 0-1040 m (Macgillycuddy`s Reeks, S. Kerry), with a single bush at 1095 m on Beinn a`Bhuird (S. Aberdeen).
Suitable habitat for C. vulgaris has declined greatly, particularly in much of England, since 1950 through loss of heathland to forestry, agriculture, mineral workings and scrub. It cannot tolerate continued heavy grazing, and has declined in some upland areas for this reason.
European Boreo-temperate element; also in C. Asia and widely naturalised outside its native range.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 6
Reaction (Ellenberg): 2
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.3
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1157
Height (cm): 60
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Life Form - secondary
Comment on Life Form
Clonality - primary
Clonality - secondary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2434
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 905
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 11
Atlas Change Index: -0.64
Weighted Changed Factor: -15
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1960. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 74. Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull. Journal of Ecology. 48:455-483.
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1978. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.