A biennial herb of open scrub and hedge banks, waysides, railway banks and sidings, rough grassy places, waste ground and quarries. It prefers well-drained soils, especially those over a sand, gravel or chalk substrate. It produces copious long-lived seed and may become an abundant colonist. It is a frequent garden escape, becoming established on rubbish tips when thrown out. 0-370 m (White Scars, Ingleborough, Mid-W. Yorks.).
There has been little change in the distribution of V. thapsus since the 1962 Atlas. The map may overestimate its occurrence as a native and underestimate the extent to which it occurs as an alien.
Eurosiberian Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 7
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.2
Annual Precipitation (mm): 918
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
1978. The biology of Canadian weeds. 28. Verbascum thapsus L. and V. blattaria L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 58:401-413.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1978. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.