Phalaris canariensis

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaePhalarisPhalaris canariensis


An annual of waste ground, rubbish tips, walls, roadsides and pavement cracks, especially in built-up areas. It is a casual, rarely persisting, from bird-seed, grain and, possibly, wool shoddy. Generally lowland, but reaching 430 m at Nenthead (Cumberland).



World Distribution

Perhaps native to N.W. Africa and the Canary Islands; widely naturalised in the Mediterranean region and in other continents.

© G. Toone, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 856

Height (cm): 120

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1102

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 60

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 10

Atlas Change Index: -0.32

Weighted Changed Factor: 3

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (404b)
Anderson DE
1961.  Taxonomy and distribution of the genus Phalaris. Iowa State Journal of Science. 36:1-96.