A perennial herb, characteristic of chalk and limestone soils but also occurring on heavy clay soils. The main habitats are downland grassland and tracks, calcareous pasture and mown grassland (such as churchyards); it is less frequent in hay meadows and on fixed dunes, and is sometimes found in water-meadows which receive calcareous water (Grose, 1957). Seed appears to be short-lived. 0-520 m (S. Northumb.).
P. media shows declines since the 1962 Atlas around the limits of its core area, mainly due to improvements to permanent pastures.
Eurasian Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 7
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.6
Annual Precipitation (mm): 804
Height (cm): 6
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1243
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: -0.79
Weighted Changed Factor: -17
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
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.