A perennial of wet habitats, usually on heavy soils. It is found on the sides of streams and ponds, in ditches, swamps, wet lowland meadows and pastures, at the upper edge of saltmarshes, and, less commonly, on damp roadsides and hedge banks. In N. England and Scotland it is essentially a coastal plant. It generally grows in slightly drier conditions than C. vulpina, tending to avoid standing water. Lowland.
The overall distribution of C. otrubae is little changed since the 1962 Atlas, though loss of habitat through drainage has caused some local declines, for example in Dorset (Pearman, 1994).
Eurosiberian Southern-temperate element.