A short-lived, tufted perennial found in a wide range of grasslands, including hay meadows, pastures, chalk and limestone grassland, and also occurring in hedge banks, open woodland and moorland. It grows in dry to winter-wet, acidic to calcareous soils, and is most vigorous in moist but not waterlogged habitats. It tolerates mowing and grazing, but not heavy trampling. 0-650 m (Cross Fell, Cumberland), and exceptionally at 845 m on Great Dun Fell (Westmorland).
There has been no appreciable change in the range of H. lanatus since the 1962 Atlas.
European Southern-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 6
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1106
Height (cm): 100
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Comment on Clonality
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2797
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 977
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14
Atlas Change Index: 1.34
Weighted Changed Factor: -37
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1961. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 77. Holcus lanatus L. Journal of Ecology. 49:421-430.
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1988. The biology of Canadian weeds. 82. Holcus lanatus L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 68:131-147.