Atropa belladonna

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaSolanaceaeAtropaAtropa belladonna


A robust rhizomatous perennial herb of dry disturbed ground, field margins, hedgerows and open woodland. It is native only on calcareous soils, particularly those overlying chalk, but it occurs on a wider range of soils as an alien, where it is often a relic of cultivation as a medicinal herb. Reproduction is mainly by bird-distributed seed. Lowland.



World Distribution

European Temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 5

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 717

Life form information

Height (cm): 150

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 414

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.33

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 (219b)
Butcher RW
1947.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 18. Atropa belladonna L. Journal of Ecology. 34:345-353.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.