Linum catharticum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaLinaceaeLinumLinum catharticum


An annual or bennial herb of dry, infertile calcareous or base-rich substrates, but also found in flushed sites on neutral or mildly acidic soils. It occurs in a wide range of calcareous grasslands, mires and flushes, in short-sedge fen-meadows, on outcrops and ledges of basic rock, road cuttings, quarry spoil and lead-mine debris, and very locally on dry heaths. 0-840 m (Breadalbanes, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

European Temperate element; also in N. America.

Broad Habitats

Calcareous grassland (includes lowland and montane types)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1113

Height (cm): 18

Perennation - primary

Biennial, including monocarpic perennials

Life Form - primary


Comment on Life Form

According to P J Grubb (pers. comm.) never annual; the books are wrong.



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2596

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 875

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 8

Atlas Change Index: -0.44

Weighted Changed Factor: -12

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (90b)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.