Phleum arenarium

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPoaceaePhleumPhleum arenarium


An annual of coastal sand dunes and sandy shingle, usually on mobile or semi-fixed Ammophila dunes and frequently associated with winter-annuals such as Aira praecox, Myosotis ramosissima and Vulpia fasciculata; also inland in Breckland, on open grass-heaths, wind-blown sand banks and other disturbed, open, sandy areas. It is a rare casual inland, sometimes arriving with imported sea-sand. Lowland.



World Distribution

European Southern-temperate element.

© G. Toone, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Supralittoral sediment (strandlines, shingle, coastal dunes)

Light (Ellenberg): 9

Moisture (Ellenberg): 3

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 1

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.3

Annual Precipitation (mm): 918

Life form information

Height (cm): 17

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 219

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 69

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 9

Atlas Change Index: -0.56

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 (401b) Ernst WHO, Malloch AJC
1994.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 181. Phleum arenarium L. Journal of Ecology. 82:403-413. 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.