Tamus communis


A dioecious, tuberous liane, found mostly on neutral to calcareous, well-drained soils, particularly those overlying chalk and limestone, but also on clay. It can be luxuriant in hedgerows, woodland edges and along paths and in waste land, but is often found in a depauperate, non-flowering state in woodland. It possesses a very large tuber and therefore avoids shallow or waterlogged soil. It is bird-sown, but is not a good colonist. Lowland.



World Distribution

Submediterranean-Subatlantic element.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.7

Annual Precipitation (mm): 850

Life form information

Height (cm): 400

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1421

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 4

Atlas Change Index: -0.41

Weighted Changed Factor: -9

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


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

Atlas (331a)
Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 12. Tamus communis L,
Burkill, I. H.
, Journal of Ecology, Volume 32, p.121-129, (1944)

Comparative Plant Ecology,
Grime, J. P., Hodgson J. G., and Hunt R.
, London, (1988)

Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols,
Meusel, H., Jäger E., and Weinert E.
, Jena, (1965)