Mesic to dry open slopes and open forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones (Douglas et al., 1998). Dry to fairly moist, open to closed forests at low to middle elevations (Pojar and Mackinnon, 1994). Scattered to abundant, occasionally dominant in the understory of semi-open forests (persists on cutover sites) on water-shedding sites (Klinka et al., 1989). Can grow in the understory of 300-600-year-old forests and in open meadows and recent clear cuts (Tirmenstein, 1990).
Coarse, skeletal soils (Klinka et al., 1989). Coarse, shallow, rocky soils, coarse alluvium, or glacial outwash.
Nitrogen medium soils (Klinka et al., 1989).
Acidic to moderately alkaline. Moderately saline tolerant (Tirmenstein, 1990).
Moderately dry to slightly moist regimes (Klinka et al., 1989). Well to poorly drained (Tirmenstein, 1990).
Grows well in sun or shade (Tirmenstein, 1990).
Understorey dominant in early seral stages after low-intensity fires but persists into later seral stages because of its ability to tolerate shade (Tirmenstein, 1990).
Associated with oceanspray in the Garry oak-oceanspray community (Klinka et al, 1989).