A winter-annual of short, open grassland on free-draining acidic sands and gravels; also around rock outcrops, on sand dunes and in bare patches on dry heathland. It is frequently found on drought-prone, sunny banks beside tracks and paths, and can quickly colonise bare areas after fires and other disturbances. Generally lowland, but reaching 380 m at Ettrick (Selkirks.).
There has been no significant change in the distribution of O. perpusillus in England since the 1962 Atlas, but it appears to be more widespread in Wales, Scotland and Ireland than previously thought.
Suboceanic Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 4
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.9
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.5
Annual Precipitation (mm): 935
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
The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants,
, Dublin, (1988)
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1965)