C. scoparius subsp. scoparius is an erect shrub of sandy acidic soils, on heaths, open woodland, railway banks, stony riversides and, particularly, on roadside banks and verges where it may often be planted. The prostrate subsp. maritimus grows on western sea-cliffs. Generally lowland, but reaching 640 m in Atholl (E. Perth).
There has been little change in the distribution of C. scoparius since the 1962 Atlas. In N. Britain, entire populations may die back during very cold winters. Subsp. scoparius occurs throughout the range of the species; subsp. maritimus is mapped separately.
European Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
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