A deciduous suckering shrub of dry or damp, calcareous to mildly acidic soils, but favouring moist, base-rich conditions. It is native in the understorey of many woods, in scrub, hedgerows, on river banks, limestone pavement, cliffs and gullies, but it is also widely planted in copses and hedgerows. 0-640 m (Atholl, E. Perth).
There is little evidence for a change in the distribution of this species; the increase in Scottish records is due to better recording. High numbers of livestock, deer and squirrels can limit regeneration, and conifer planting and the cessation of woodland management may reduce abundance locally.
European Temperate element.
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Light (Ellenberg): 4
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.6
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1094
Height (cm): 600
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2470
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 870
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 5
Atlas Change Index: -0.54
Weighted Changed Factor: 17
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1976)
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1980. Ancient woodland: its history, vegetation and uses in England.
1985. Cultivated fruits of Britain: their origin and history.
2000. Domestication of plants in the Old World, edn 3.