A biennial, occasionally annual, herb of mildly acidic to neutral soils in a variety of open habitats, including pastures, hill grassland, grassy heaths, sand dunes, machair and road verges. On limestone it probably indicates surface leaching or the presence of non-calcareous superficial deposits. Generally lowland, but reaching 915 m at Cairnwell (E. Perth, S. Aberdeen).
G. campestris had already suffered a marked decline before 1930 and sites are still being lost through overgrazing in the uplands and the neglect of lowland pastures. In its English stronghold, Cumbria, it has disappeared from half the 10-km squares for which there are post-1930 records.
European Boreo-temperate element.
Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 6
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 1
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.1
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.5
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1298
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 (209b) A Flora of Cumbria,
, Lancaster, (1997)
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1978)