An annual of open, droughted grasslands, sheltered cliffs, sand dunes, arable fields, waste ground, waysides and verges. Mainly lowland, but reaching 365 m in Aberdeenshire.
Formerly frequent, this species is now much decreased due to agricultural intensification. It was mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas. Analysis of the database reveals that most of these losses have occurred since 1950. Whilst remaining common in some coastal localities and locally inland, it is now no more than a rare casual over parts of its range. It may well be native only in some western coastal habitats and an archacophyte elsewhere.
European Southern-temperate element; it is widely naturalised outside its native range.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.9
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.2
Annual Precipitation (mm): 916
Height (cm): 40
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1635
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 369
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 12
Atlas Change Index: -0.94
Weighted Changed Factor: 39
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
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.
1996. Changes in the vascular plant floras of England and Scotland between 1930-1960 and 1987-1988: the BSBI monitoring scheme. Biological Conservation. 75:217-229.