A rhizomatous perennial herb of dry heaths, non-calcareous sand dunes, shingle beaches and other short, open grasslands on acidic, impoverished, sandy or stony soils. It is sometimes found on outcrops of acidic rocks. 0-1050 m (Carnedd Llewelyn, Caerns.).
There has been little change in distribution since the 1962 Atlas. Two subspecies occur in Britain: the widespread subsp. pyrenaicus and the scarcer subsp. acetosella, which replaces it in N. Britain but is not known from Ireland.
Eurosiberian Wide-temperate element, but widely naturalised so that distribution is now Circumpolar Wide-temperate.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 4
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1110
Height (cm): 30
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2743
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 865
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14
Atlas Change Index: -0.62
Weighted Changed Factor: -51
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
Atlas Supp (44a)
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1979)
1981. Docks and knotweeds of the British Isles. Botanical Society of the British Isles Handbook no. 3.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1984. Biosystematic studies of the Rumex acetosella complex (Polygonaceae). VIII. A taxonomic revision. Feddes Repertorium. 95:43-66.