A biennial herb, rarely a perennial or an annual, found in a variety of waste and disturbed places, although it was formerly most frequent as an arable weed. Generally lowland, but occurring as a casual at 340 m N. of Alston (Cumberland).
This species was first recorded in the wild before 1849, although it may have previously been confused with B. vulgaris. It has considerably increased since the 1962 Atlas, and may be seriously under-recorded in the Irish Republic.
Native of N.W. Africa and W. Europe from Spain to Denmark; naturalised north and east of its native range.
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