A perennial herb of grasslands, including well-drained meadows, chalk and limestone downs, hill pastures and montane rock ledges; also on coastal cliff-tops, shingle and sand dunes. It is absent from only the most acidic and infertile soils. Alien genotypes, introduced from seed mixtures, occur on roadsides. 0-915 m (Stuich an Lochan, Glen Lyon, Mid Perth).
The overall distribution of this species is unchanged since the 1962 Atlas, despite the fact that it is suppressed in improved pastures and is possibly a poor competitor where grazing ceases.
Eurasian Southern-temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 1
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1104
Height (cm): 40
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2801
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 975
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14
Atlas Change Index: 1.09
Weighted Changed Factor: 11
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology. .
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols. .
1986. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 163. Lotus corniculatus L. Journal of Ecology. 74:1185-1212. .
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Turkington & Franco (1980)