A perennial herb of rough grasslands, roadsides, railway embankments, hedge banks, woodland rides and clearings, open scrub and waste ground. It is a plant of moist, neutral or slightly base-rich, heavy soils, and cannot withstand much competition. Lowland.
This species was previously confused with C. muricata subsp. lamprocarpa, but a clear account of the differences was provided by Jermy et al. (1982) and it is now known to be more common in N.W. England and W. Scotland than indicated in the 1962 Atlas.
European Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 6
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.7
Annual Precipitation (mm): 823
Height (cm): 85
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1043
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 48
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 1
Weighted Changed Factor: 36
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1985. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 159. Carex muricata L. aggregate (pp. 1021-1022), Carex spicata Huds. (pp. 1022-1028), Carex muricata L. sensu stricto (pp. 1028-1032), Carex divulsa Stokes (pp. 1032-1039). Journal of Ecology. 73:1021-1039.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.