Allium ursinum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaLiliaceaeAlliumAllium ursinum


A bulbous perennial herb of moist woodlands, sometimes growing in more open situations such as riversides and hedge banks and occasionally in rock crevices, in scree and on coastal cliff ledges. Regeneration is primarily by seed. Generally lowland, but reaching c. 450 m at Great Clowder, Malham (Mid-W. Yorks.).



World Distribution

European Temperate element.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland

Light (Ellenberg): 4

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.8

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1065

Life form information

Height (cm): 45

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Bulbous geophyte



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2034

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 371

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: 0.24

Weighted Changed Factor: 20

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 (327b)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Mabey R
1996.  Flora Britannica.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Tutin TG
1957.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 63. Allium ursinum L. Journal of Ecology. 45:1003-1010.