An annual of basic soils, including light soils over chalk and calcareous boulder-clay, found on the headlands and margins of arable fields (particularly cornfields), and less commonly on tracks, waste ground and in gardens. It is also found on sandy soils, and has been recorded on open peaty ground (Co. Cork). Lowland.
Although this species is often only present in small and scattered populations, its overall distribution shows only limited losses. Simpson (1982) suggests that some Kickxia seeds germinate in late summer and may therefore escape herbicides.
As an archaeophyte K. elatine has a European Southern-temperate distribution; it is widely naturalised outside this range.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.1
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16
Annual Precipitation (mm): 813
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
The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants,
, Dublin, (1988)
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)