Found in a wide variety of damp, grassy habitats, this rhizomatous perennial herb is particularly common in areas influenced by man: waste ground, tracksides, roadside verges and hedge-banks. It is also frequent, however, in rough grassland, hayfields, and occasionally sand dunes, marshes and damp, open woods. It avoids highly acidic, infertile soils. 0-470 m (Hartside, Cumberland).
The range and frequency of C. hirta are likely to have been stable over many years, and the distribution is similar to that mapped in the 1962 Atlas.
European Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.