A tall annual of estuarine shores, rubbish tips, docks and waste ground, originating mainly from grain, wool, oil-seed and soya bean waste. It is usually casual, sometimes persisting for a few years. Lowland.
This species was known in the wild in Britain by 1597, but has declined since 1970. It is very variable and the whole `strumarium group` is mapped here.
The native range of X. strumarium is obscure; it is frequent in C. & S. Europe and a widespread weed in warmer climates throughout the world.
Atlas text references
1961. A census list of wool aliens found in Britain, 1946-1960. Proceedings of the Botanical Society of the British Isles. 4:221-247.
1992. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.
1994. Flora of Glamorgan.
1983. The biology of Canadian weeds. 56. Xanthium strumarium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 63:211-225.