Mercurialis annua (Annual Mercury)
A dioecious annual of disturbed waste places, cultivated ground, particularly in allotments and gardens, rubbish tips, walls, and roadsides, thriving on light, nutrient-rich soils. It produces a long-lived seed bank. Lowland.
M. annua is known from archaeological deposits in Viking York. It has spread from ports and town gardens, and comparison of the current map with that in the 1962 Atlas suggests that is still increasing.
As an archaeophyte M. annua has a Submediterranean-Subatlantic distribution.
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 of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Biological evidence from Anglo-Scandinavian deposits at 16-22 Coppergate,
, The Archaeology of York, Volume 14, p.435-797 + i-xxiii, (1995)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1978)