A tussock-forming rhizomatous perennial herb of wet heaths and mires, including blanket- and raised bogs. It is characteristic of wet peaty moorlands, often dominant or co-dominant with Calluna vulgaris, where it survives, or even increases, after burning. Its sites are always open and almost always acidic. 0-945 m (Ben Lawers, Mid Perth).
Many lowland sites for E. vaginatum had been lost by 1930. Since then, further losses have occurred in the N. Midlands, but it remains abundant in many areas of N. & W. Britain and in Ireland.
Circumpolar Boreo-arctic Montane element.
Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 8
Reaction (Ellenberg): 2
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 1
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.1
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.6
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1307
Height (cm): 50
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1516
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 560
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: -0.36
Weighted Changed Factor: 8
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.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1973. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 132. Eriophorum vaginatum L. Journal of Ecology. 61:601-615.