An annual of rubbish tips, dock quaysides, verges and waste ground; also, rarely, as a weed of arable land or garden centres. S. verticillata is a bird-seed, oil-seed, wool, cotton and esparto alien, usually occurring as a casual but sometimes persisting for a few years in S. England. Lowland.
S. verticillata was recorded from the wild in 1666. It is unclear whether its distribution is changing.
Native of Eurasia, but precise range obscured by its spread as a weed; it now grows in warm-temperate and subtropical areas of Eurasia, C. & S. America, Africa, Australia and elsewhere.
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