One of the Arctic types of plants, there is, nevertheless, no evidence of the occurrence of this plant in early deposits. Its present distribution is the North Temperate and Arctic Zones in Arctic Europe, Siberia, Dahuria. In Great Britain it is found in the Peninsula, Channel, and Thames provinces, except in W. Kent, E. Essex; in Anglia, except in Hunts; in the Severn province; in S. Wales only in Pembroke; in the whole of N. Wales; in the Trent province, and in the Mersey, Humber, Tyne, and Lakes provinces, except in the Isle of Man; in the E. Lowlands, except in Peebles, Selkirk, and Linlithgow; in the E. Highlands, except in Fife, Stirling, S. Perth, Kincardine, Easterness; in the W. Highlands only in Clyde Isles, S. Ebudes; in the N. Highlands, Orkneys, and Shetlands. It ascends to 2100 ft. in Yorks.