A bulbous, perennial herb spreading mainly by bulbils in rough grassland and waste ground, on road verges and track sides and by railways. It sometimes occurs in more natural habitats such as sandy river banks, open woodlands on well-drained soils and a variety of coastal situations. Lowland.
A. scorodoprasum is much better recorded than it was for the 1962 Atlas, and its distribution seems to be stable.
European Temperate element, with a continental distribution in W. Europe; widely naturalised outside its native range. Our plant is sometimes considered to be a horticulturally derived variant of the S. European A. scorodoprasum subsp. rotundum.
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 181
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: 0.3
Scarce Atlas Account
Allium scorodoprasum L.
Status: not scarce
This is a bulbous plant of grassland, scrub and open woodland on dry, sandy soils. It is occasionally found on riversides, mainly on gravel and sandy banks. It is often found in limited numbers, sparsely scattered. It is virtually confined to the lowlands, but reaches 370 metres in Silverdale.
It is a perennial and reproduces by bulb offsets and by bulbils.
There are many more records in northern England now than were available to the editors of the Atlas of the British Flora (Perring & Walters 1962). This probably reflects the recent recording efforts in this area, but the plant may also have become more obvious by increased flowering with the warm, dry summers experienced over the last few years.
The British plant is A. scorodoprasum subsp. scorodoprasum. This has a scattered distribution in northern and central Europe, reaching its northern limit in Scotland and southern Finland, and extending south to Bulgaria and the Crimea. Three other subspecies are recognised in Europe, and have more southerly distributions.
Like A. oleraceum this plant may be a long established alien in Britain, and its wide and scattered distribution in Europe may be partly due to its former cultivation as a culinary plant (Tutin et al. 1980).
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)
A review of Allium Section Allium,
, Kew, (1996)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1965)
Scarce plants in Britain,
, Peterborough, (1994)