The present distribution of this Hawkweed is Arctic Europe, N. Asia, and X. America, or the Northern Temperate and Arctic Zones. It is found in every county in Great Britain except E. Cornwall, West Kent, Suffolk, Bedford, Hunts, Pembroke, Flint, Mid Lancs, Isle of Man, Dumfries, Linlithgow, Stirling, N. Aberdeen, Orkneys, that is from Ross southwards, and it ascends to 3500 ft. in the Highlands. In Ireland it is rare.

The Common Hawkweed is a plant of the heaths and moors, growing at a high altitude, and being ericetal it is also more or less a xerophyte. It is, moreover, found on banks and in copses, usually in hilly country, like the majority of species, and in this case where the ground is rocky or covered with a debris of loose stones.