Melampyrum arvense

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaScrophulariaceaeMelampyrumMelampyrum arvense


An annual hemiparasite, mainly on the roots of grasses. Formerly an arable weed, it now occurs in open grassland beside hedges and ditch-banks, field-borders, in a disused brick-pit and on slumping chalk cliff-faces. Lowland.



World Distribution

M. arvense has a European Temperate distribution, although it is absent from much of W. Europe.

© K. Marston, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 16.2

Annual Precipitation (mm): 692

Life form information

Height (cm): 60

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 50

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.49

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