A tall perennial herb of open habitats, including ditches, marshes, the edges of streams or ponds, damp woodland margins and waste ground. It thrives in wet, fertile, neutral to basic habitats, although it can tolerate dry ground. It spreads from seed, or from branching rhizomes which may result in dense stands. 0-365 m (Derbys.), with an exceptional record at 845 m on Great Dun Fell (Westmorland).
The distribution of E. hirsutum is much the same as in the 1962 Atlas, although increases in Wales, N. England and S.W. Scotland suggest that it may have expanded into these areas.
Eurasian Southern-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
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Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 8
Reaction (Ellenberg): 7
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15
Annual Precipitation (mm): 971
Height (cm): 150
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2036
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 795
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 12
Atlas Change Index: 0.12
Weighted Changed Factor: 9
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1978. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
1974. Comparative eco-physiology of Epilobium hirsutum L. and Lythrum salicaria L. I. General biology, distribution and germination. Journal of Ecology. 62:279-290.