An annual of free-draining disturbed substrates including sands, gravels and cinders, found on roadsides, banks, wall-tops, pavements, railway ballast, coastal shingle and dunes, in gravel-pits, and on open rough and waste ground. 0-430 m (Nenthead, Cumberland).
This species, first recorded in 1660, has spread greatly since 1900, especially along roads and railways. Since the 1962 Atlas it has spread further into S.W. England and Ireland, and consolidated its range elsewhere. Genetically dwarf variants occur on maritime shingle, where the species could conceivably be native.
A European Temperate species which has spread markedly in W. & N. Europe in recent centuries.
Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 7
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 1
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.4
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.1
Annual Precipitation (mm): 920
Height (cm): 60
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1747
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 69
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 1
Atlas Change Index: 0.63
Weighted Changed Factor: -3
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1978. Variations in four populations of Senecio viscosus L. as revealed by a cultivation experiment. New Phytologist. 81:391-400.
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1992. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.
1964. Weeds & Aliens, edn 2.