Arctium lappa

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaAsteraceaeArctiumArctium lappa


A monocarpic perennial herb of streamsides and river banks, roadside verges, tracks and waysides, field-borders, waste land and other disturbed places. Lowland.



World Distribution

As an archaeophyte A. lappa has a Eurosiberian Temperate distribution, but it is widely naturalised so that its distribution is now Circumpolar Temperate.

Broad Habitats

Boundary and linear features (eg hedges, roadsides, walls)

Light (Ellenberg): 9

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 9

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16

Annual Precipitation (mm): 769

Height (cm): 150

Perennation - primary

Biennial, including monocarpic perennials

Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 971

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 4

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 1

Atlas Change Index: 0.51

Weighted Changed Factor: 7

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (287a)
Gross RS, Werner PA, Hawthorn WR
1980.  The biology of Canadian weeds. 38. Arctium minus (Hill) Bernh. and A. lappa L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 60:621-634.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger EJ
1992.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.
Perring FH
1960.  Report on the survey of Arctium L. agg. in Britain, 1959. Proceedings of the Botanical Society of the British Isles. 4:33-37.