Anisantha sterilis

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaeAnisanthaAnisantha sterilis


An annual of roadsides, railway banks, open grassland, gardens and waste ground. It can be a serious weed in fields where winter cereals are grown repeatedly using minimum cultivation techniques, especially in S. Britain (Grime et al., 1988). A. sterilis has frequently been introduced with wool shoddy. Generally lowland, but reaching 365 m in Derbyshire.



World Distribution

As an archaeophyte A. sterilis has a European Southern-temperate distribution; it is widely naturalised outside this range.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.3

Annual Precipitation (mm): 893

Life form information

Height (cm): 80

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1836

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 281

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: 0.05

Weighted Changed Factor: 9

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


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