A tufted perennial herb found naturalised on roadside banks and railway cuttings, especially on well-drained soils overlying chalk and limestone, and on old mortared walls. It also occurs rarely as a casual on rubbish tips. Lowland.
This species was being cultivated in Britain by 1629; it is extremely common in gardens and is available in a huge variety of cultivars. It was first recorded in the wild in 1724 (Middlesex), and has been naturalised on walls at Beaulieu Abbey (S. Hants.) since at least 1856. Its overall distribution is probably stable.
Native of the mountains of E.C. Europe.
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