This perennial herb is widely naturalised by roadsides and paths, in the crevices of old walls, on waste ground and in hedge-bottoms. It was at one time cultivated as a medicinal plant, and most localities are near habitation. Lowland.
Fossil evidence shows that C. majus has been present in Britain since Roman times. Although it is better recorded since the 1962 Atlas, the map suggests a decline at the edges of the range.
As an archaeophyte C. majus has a Eurasian Temperate distribution; it is widely naturalised outside this range.
Light (Ellenberg): 6
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 8
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.3
Annual Precipitation (mm): 905
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
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1991)
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.