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.
Although highly persistent, A. belladonna has declined due to agricultural improvement and, in some cases, specific eradication. Some populations may well be ancient introductions and it is difficult to determine the status of many populations, even within its core area.
European Temperate element.
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
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
Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 18. Atropa belladonna L,
, Journal of Ecology, Volume 34, p.345-353, (1947)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1978)