A spring-germinating annual of open habitats on well-drained, often calcareous, soils, including cultivated fields, forestry tracks, on rough waste ground, old walls, quarries, and especially along railways. 0-425 m (Kirkstone Pass, Westmorland).
C. minus was mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas. It has declined in many areas, particularly in Ireland. It was once a familiar weed of cultivated farmland, but agricultural intensification has now rendered it much rarer in this habitat and it is now more likely to be found along railways and in railway yards.
As an archaeophyte C. minus has a European 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.