An aromatic annual of light calcareous or sandy soils, growing in arable fields, especially cereals; also in leys, field-borders and waste places, and on roadsides and disturbed ground near the sea. It is occasionally introduced as a contaminant of grass-seed or in wild-flower seed mixtures. Lowland.
This species declined substantially in the 20th century, and especially since the 1962 Atlas. It was fairly resistant to the first phenoxy herbicides but is more susceptible to other, more recently developed, compounds. Many northern occurrences are casual.
As an archaeophyte A. arvensis has a European Southern-temperate distribution; it is widely naturalised outside this range.
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
1988. The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1992. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.