A deciduous shrub found in hedgerows and coppices, and on banks, cliffs and waste ground. Generally lowland, but reaching 395 m on Wanthwaite Crags (Cumberland).
B. vulgaris has been recorded from Neolithic deposits at Grimes Graves (W. Norfolk). It might be native in England and Wales, but it was cultivated in medieval times and later widely planted for hedging. All records are mapped as if they are native. Its deleterious effect on wheat crops was appreciated before it was known to be a host of the rust Puccinia graminis and consequently eradicated from many hedgerows in the 19th century.
European Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native 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
Atlas (26d) Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Jalas & Suominen (1991) Grimes Graves, Norfolk excavations 1971-72: volume 1. Department of the Environment Archaeological Reports no. 11,
, London, (1981)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1965)
The Flora of Bristol,
, Bristol, (1912)