This spring-germinating annual is a colonist of cultivated land, waysides, gardens and allotments. It prefers soils which are well-drained and acidic, occurring on calcareous substrates only when there is surface leaching. 0-410 m on Malham Moor (Mid-W. Yorks.) and 455 m in E. Perth.
V. agrestis was mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas, but even then was considered to be diminishing (Salisbury, 1961). It has continued to decrease, mainly due to changing agricultural practices, and is no longer a familiar cornfield weed.
As an archaeophyte V. agrestis has a European Temperate distribution; it is widely naturalised outside this range.
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)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1978)