An autumn- or spring-germinating annual of dry, open, acidic to neutral and occasionally calcareous habitats including open grassland, quarries and rocky ledges, sand-pits and dunes, sandy heaths and tracks, and arable and other cultivated ground. Lowland.
Populations of F. vulgaris may fluctuate in size in response to climatic conditions and disturbance, but overall there has been a progressive decline, very marked in S. and W. England and Ireland, largely as a result of changing agricultural practices and the cultivation of marginal land.
European Southern-temperate element; also recorded in C. Asia. It reaches its northern limit in Scotland and Jutland.