Melampyrum pratense

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaScrophulariaceaeMelampyrumMelampyrum pratense


An annual hemiparasite of woods, scrub, heaths and upland moorlands on well-drained, nutrient-poor acidic soils; more rarely in scrub, hedgerows and deciduous woodland on chalk and limestone. The large seeds are distributed by ants. Lowland to 960 m (Macgillycuddy`s Reeks, S. Kerry).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element.

© G. Toone, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 5

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 2

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.2

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.3

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1220

Life form information

Height (cm): 60

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1696

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 323

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.88

Weighted Changed Factor: -28

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 (234c)
Atlas Supp (54a
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Smith AJE
1963.  Variation in Melampyrum pratense L. Watsonia. 5:336-367.