A perennial herb of mildly acidic to calcareous, slow-draining or wet soils, in shaded or open habitats, including streamsides and flushes in deciduous woodland, carr, herb-rich hay meadows and montane willow scrub and tall-herb communities on ledges. Reproduction is by seed and by rhizomatous spread. 0?975 m (Beinn a` Chaoruinn, Westerness).
G. rivale was mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas. There have been widespread declines, particularly in C. and S. England, and analysis of the database reveals that these have mostly occurred since 1950. The species is also grown in gardens and sometimes escapes.
Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element; also in N. America.
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