A perennial herb of Sphagnum mires and the wet, peaty margins of pools, often growing in standing water. Most of its sites are acidic and oligotrophic, but unlike C. magellanica, it tends to occur in areas subject to some mineral enrichment. Generally lowland, but reaching 830 m on Meall nan Tarmachan (Mid Perth).
C. limosa is now much better recorded than it was in the 1962 Atlas, and the distribution is probably stable, at least in Wales, Scotland and W. & N. Ireland. In England and C. Ireland it was lost from many lowland sites before 1930, and this decline has continued due to drainage, afforestation and, in Ireland, peat extraction.
Circumpolar Boreal-montane element.
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