A tall annual of estuarine shores, rubbish tips, docks and waste ground, originating mainly from grain, wool, oil-seed and soya bean waste. It is usually casual, sometimes persisting for a few years. Lowland.
This species was known in the wild in Britain by 1597, but has declined since 1970. It is very variable and the whole `strumarium group` is mapped here.
The native range of X. strumarium is obscure; it is frequent in C. & S. Europe and a widespread weed in warmer climates throughout the world.
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
1961. A census list of wool aliens found in Britain, 1946-1960. Proceedings of the Botanical Society of the British Isles. 4:221-247.
1992. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.
1994. Flora of Glamorgan.
1983. The biology of Canadian weeds. 56. Xanthium strumarium L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 63:211-225.