A rhizomatous perennial sub-shrub, widespread in grasslands on base-rich, well-drained, light soils, and also on calcareous boulder-clays. On the coast it occurs on sand dunes and shingle, and inland it is frequently a colonist of sandy or gravelly road verges. 0-365 m (Weardale, Co. Durham).
There has been no appreciable change in the overall distribution of O. repens since the 1962 Atlas, where it was mapped as `all records`, although it does appear to have declined in parts of C. England and N.E. Scotland. Small, densely hairy plants from maritime sands in Devon have been referred to subsp. maritima, but their taxonomic status needs clarification.
European Temperate element.
Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.3
Annual Precipitation (mm): 878
PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Atlas text references
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Investigations into the phenetic relationships between species of Ononis L,
, Watsonia, Volume 7, p.1-23, (1969)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1965)