Prunus padus

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaRosaceaePrunusPrunus padus


A deciduous shrub or small tree of moist woodland and scrub, streamsides and shaded rocky places; also in fen-carr in East Anglia. It occurs on a wide variety of soil types, but is most frequent on damp calcareous or base-rich substrates, and avoids very dry or very acidic conditions. It spreads by fruit and suckers, often forming thickets. 0-650 m (Dove Crag, Westmorland).



World Distribution

Eurasian Boreo-temperate element.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland

Light (Ellenberg): 5

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 2.7

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.8

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1240

Life form information

Height (cm): 1500

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Mega-, meso- and microphanerophyte



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1089

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 189

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: 0.58

Weighted Changed Factor: 32

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 (129d)
Curtis TGF, McGough HN
1988.  The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Leather SR
1996.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 189. Prunus padus L. Journal of Ecology. 84:125-132.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.