Hippocrepis comosa

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaFabaceaeHippocrepisHippocrepis comosa


A perennial herb occurring in dry, sunny pastures on chalk and limestone, and on rock ledges on limestone cliffs. It prefers a S.-facing aspect, an open situation, and is able to colonise bare chalk, such as that in new road cuttings. Generally lowland, but reaching 600 m on Long Fell, Warcop (Westmorland).



World Distribution

European Temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Calcareous grassland (includes lowland and montane types)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 3

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16

Annual Precipitation (mm): 814

Height (cm): 25

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 348

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 2

Atlas Change Index: -0.54

Weighted Changed Factor: -29

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (113b)
Fearn GM
1973.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 134. Hippocrepis comosa L. Journal of Ecology. 61:915-926.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.