An annual of free-draining disturbed substrates including sands, gravels and cinders, found on roadsides, banks, wall-tops, pavements, railway ballast, coastal shingle and dunes, in gravel-pits, and on open rough and waste ground. 0-430 m (Nenthead, Cumberland).
This species, first recorded in 1660, has spread greatly since 1900, especially along roads and railways. Since the 1962 Atlas it has spread further into S.W. England and Ireland, and consolidated its range elsewhere. Genetically dwarf variants occur on maritime shingle, where the species could conceivably be native.
A European Temperate species which has spread markedly in W. & N. Europe in recent centuries.
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
1978. Variations in four populations of Senecio viscosus L. as revealed by a cultivation experiment. New Phytologist. 81:391-400.
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1992. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.
1964. Weeds & Aliens, edn 2.