A robust rhizomatous perennial herb of dry disturbed ground, field margins, hedgerows and open woodland. It is native only on calcareous soils, particularly those overlying chalk, but it occurs on a wider range of soils as an alien, where it is often a relic of cultivation as a medicinal herb. Reproduction is mainly by bird-distributed seed. Lowland.
Although highly persistent, A. belladonna has declined due to agricultural improvement and, in some cases, specific eradication. Some populations may well be ancient introductions and it is difficult to determine the status of many populations, even within its core area.
European Temperate element.
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Light (Ellenberg): 5
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 8
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16.1
Annual Precipitation (mm): 717
Height (cm): 150
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 414
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: -0.33
Atlas text references
1947. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 18. Atropa belladonna L. Journal of Ecology. 34:345-353.
1978. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.