This perennial herb is found in a wide variety of habitats, usually on well-drained calcareous soils. Typical habitats include downland, rough pasture, hay meadows, scrub, woodland and young plantations. It sometimes occurs on sand dunes and railway embankments. Rarely, it grows on slightly acidic soils in moorland and wet, heathy pasture. 0-460 m (Harwood Dale, S. Northumb.).
P. chlorantha was lost from many sites during the 20th century. Reasons include the felling, disturbance and coniferisation of woodland, and the agricultural improvement of pasture and scrub. It may be lost from woodland if the canopy becomes too dense.
European Temperate element.