A perennial herb of open habitats; it is most frequent on trampled paths and tracks, disturbed field edges and roadsides, and in gardens, but it also occurs in some closed grasslands. It grows in a wide range of soils, avoiding only very acidic sites, and can produce a large and persistent seed bank. 0-625 m (Knock Fell), with an exceptional record at 845 m on Great Dun Fell (both Westmorland).
The distribution of this ubiquitous species is stable. Subsp. major occurs throughout the range of the species, subsp. intermedia is mapped separately.
Eurasian Wide-temperate element, but naturalised in N. America so distribution is now Circumpolar Wide-temperate.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1102
Height (cm): 15
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2766
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 975
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14
Atlas Change Index: 0.09
Weighted Changed Factor: -27
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1974. The biology of Canadian weeds. 4. Plantago major and P. rugelli. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 54:383-396.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1978. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
1964. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 95. Plantago major L. (pp. 189-205), Plantago media L. (pp. 205-210), Plantago lanceolata L. (pp. 211-218). Journal of Ecology. 52:189-221.