A perennial herb, characteristic of chalk and limestone soils but also occurring on heavy clay soils. The main habitats are downland grassland and tracks, calcareous pasture and mown grassland (such as churchyards); it is less frequent in hay meadows and on fixed dunes, and is sometimes found in water-meadows which receive calcareous water (Grose, 1957). Seed appears to be short-lived. 0-520 m (S. Northumb.).
P. media shows declines since the 1962 Atlas around the limits of its core area, mainly due to improvements to permanent pastures.
Eurasian Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.
Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 4
Reaction (Ellenberg): 7
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.6
Annual Precipitation (mm): 804
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
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1978. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
1964. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 95. Plantago major L. (pp. 189-205), Plantago media L. (pp. 205-210), Plantago lanceolata L. (pp. 211-218). Journal of Ecology. 52:189-221.