Apparently perennial, this species is almost exclusively parasitic upon Centaurea scabiosa, and is mainly found in chalk and limestone grassland. It may also form substantial populations in man-made habitats such as road verges, railway banks and quarries. Lowland.
There appears to have been a gradual contraction in the range of O. elatior, especially in areas outside its core range where populations tend to be small. Most losses are probably due to habitat destruction. The distribution is stable in its core areas.
Eurosiberian Temperate element, with a continental distribution in W. Europe.
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 267
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: -0.33
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 of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1978)
An account of Orobanche L. in Britain and Ireland,
, Watsonia, Volume 18, p.257-295, (1991)