Ulex europaeus

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaFabaceaeUlexUlex europaeus


A shrub of mildly acidic soils, including leached soils on chalk and limestone, and acidic sands and gravels. It occurs in under-grazed pastures, woodland rides, on sea-cliffs and sand dunes, and on waste ground and railways. It is sometimes planted as hedges or game-shelter, and on roadsides. Generally lowland, but reaching 640 m on Carnedd Dafydd (Caerns.).



World Distribution

Oceanic Temperate element, but naturalised in suboceanic parts of Europe and elsewhere.

© Shannon, P

Broad Habitats

Dwarf shrub heath (cover of dwarf shrubs at least 25%)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.6

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1090

Life form information

Height (cm): 200

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2518

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 956

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: -0.34

Weighted Changed Factor: 6

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.