An annual of open, cultivated and waste ground, usually found on light, dry soils. It also occurs on walls, by railways and in cracks in pavements. 0-455 m (Atholl, E. Perth).
Although now much better recorded than it was in the 1962 Atlas, the map suggests a slight decline in this species, especially in S. England and N.E. Scotland. It is decreasing as a weed of cultivated land because of the increased use of herbicides (Brewis et al., 1996).
As an archaeophyte L. amplexicaule has a Eurosiberian Southern-temperate distribution, but it is widely naturalised so that distribution is now Circumpolar Southern-temperate.