A semi-decumbent evergreen perennial herb found on acidic, nutrient-poor, sandy or peaty soils in grassland, heathland, blanket bog, montane communities and, rarely, sand quarry tips. Generally upland, but from sea level to 1310 m (Ben Nevis, Westerness, and Ben Macdui, S. Aberdeen).
Most of the sites in lowland England were lost before 1930, due to habitat destruction, agricultural improvement and drainage. In the uplands some sites have been lost to heather burning and overgrazing, but its overall distribution is stable.
Circumpolar Boreo-arctic Montane element.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 6
Reaction (Ellenberg): 2
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 2.7
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.2
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1472
Height (cm): 10
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Comment on Clonality
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 989
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 234
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: -0.41
Weighted Changed Factor: -12
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1990. Modular growth of Huperzia selago (Lycopodiaceae: Pteridophyta). Fern Gazette. 13:361-372.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1972)
1978. Ferns and their allies. The Island of Mull: a survey of its flora and environment. :12.1-12.7.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1997. The ferns of Britain and Ireland, edn 2.