A tufted perennial herb of woodland rides and glades, hedgerows and other shaded places; also locally on walls, and in the mountains on dry rock ledges. It was occasionally sown in woodlands and parks for its ornamental value, while in some areas it may have been introduced with wool shoddy, grass-seed or soil. Generally lowland, but reaching 915 m (Sgurr na Lappaich, Glen Farrar, Easterness).
The native distribution of P. nemoralis is impossible to delimit with any degree of certainty. It was mapped as `all records` for the 1962 Atlas, and may be spreading in parts of N.W. Britain and Ireland, where it was probably originally introduced.
Circumpolar Boreo-temperate element.
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