An annual of open habitats or bare ground on dry, relatively infertile soils. It is found in chalk and limestone grassland, on sandy heaths and banks, stabilised dunes, the borders of sandy cultivated fields, railway tracks, rocks, walls, gravel-pits, quarry spoil and waste ground. 0-430 m (above Swindale, Brough, Westmorland).
M. ramosissima was mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas. There have been some local losses since 1950, possibly caused by the loss of close-grazed semi-natural communities in inland areas.
European Southern-temperate element.