A perennial herb of over-grazed pastures, hay meadows and rough grassy places, roadsides, arable fields and other cultivated land, and in urban habitats and waste ground. Plants regenerate freely from rhizome fragments which are broken up by ploughing or other disturbance. 0-700 m (Breadalbanes, Mid Perth), and at 845 m on Great Dun Fell (Westmorland).
Though listed as a noxious weed in Britain under the 1959 Weeds Act, there has been no change in distribution since the 1962 Atlas and probably little over many decades before that.
Eurasian Temperate element, but naturalised in N. America so distribution is now Circumpolar Temperate.
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
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1985. Hermaphrodites and subhermaphrodites in a reputedly dioecious plant, Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. New Phytologist. 100:457-472.
1992. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.
1975. The biology of Canadian weeds. 13. Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 55:1033-1048.