Brachypodium sylvaticum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaeBrachypodiumBrachypodium sylvaticum


A tufted perennial herb of well-drained neutral to calcareous soils. In the lowlands, it is predominantly a plant of woodland and other shady habitats, including hedgerows, railway banks and roadsides, and it has colonised chalk and limestone downland following scrub invasion. It can persist in areas of former woodland or scrub. Above c. 200 m, it can occur in more open situations including limestone grassland and pavements, cliffs and screes. 0-465 m (Highfolds Scar, Malham, Mid-W. Yorks.).



World Distribution

European Temperate element; also in C. and E. Asia and widely naturalised outside its native range.

© S. Hammonds

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.7

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1062

Life form information

Height (cm): 95

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Tussock-forming graminoid, may slowly spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2310

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 787

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 12

Atlas Change Index: -0.17

Weighted Changed Factor: 7

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 (389a)
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.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.