Phleum pratense

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaePhleumPhleum pratense


A perennial herb growing in a wide range of grassy habitats, including meadows, pastures, rough grassland, field margins and waysides; also sown in grasslands and as a casual from wool shoddy, bird-seed and other sources. P. pratense sens. str. tends to occur on rather heavier, damper soils than P. bertolonii. 0-445 m (Clun Forest, Salop).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Temperate element, but widely naturalised so that distribution is now Circumpolar Temperate.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.8

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1023

Life form information

Height (cm): 150

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Tussock-forming graminoid, may slowly spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2294

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 672

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 3

Distribution information

JNCC Designations


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

Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Ryves TB, Clement EJ, Foster MC
1996.  Alien grasses of the British Isles.