An annual of cultivated land, open grassland, heaths, sand dunes, gravelled paths and tracks, waste ground, banks, walls and pavements, usually on dry soils. In closed grassland it may be restricted to anthills. Seed remains viable in the soil for several years. Generally lowland, but reaching at least 820 m in the Breadalbanes (Mid Perth) and exceptionally at 845 m on Great Dun Fell (Westmorland).
There is no evidence of any significant change in the distribution of V. arvensis since the 1962 Atlas, other than in W. Ireland where it may have been under-recorded in recent years.
European Southern-temperate element, but widely naturalised so that distribution is now Circumpolar Southern-temperate.
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.