A rosette-forming perennial herb of short swards on base-rich soils, particularly on chalk and limestone. The northerly and westerly limits appear to be determined by summer warmth and in areas such as the Yorkshire Wolds and Derbyshire it is almost wholly confined to S.W.-facing slopes. It benefits from the sward being grazed to less than 10-15 cm, or frequent mowing, but is destroyed by heavy trampling. Generally lowland, but reaching 425 m at Trefil (Mons.).
C. acaule shows very little change since the 1962 Atlas, other than in S.E. England where there have been losses, probably due to habitat loss.
European Temperate element.
Light (Ellenberg): 9
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 8
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16.1
Annual Precipitation (mm): 742
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.
1992. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.
1968. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 111. Cirsium acaulon (L.) Scop. Journal of Ecology. 56:597-612.