The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.
Range & Status
Native. European Temperate plant. Found scattered throughout Britain, but more frequent in the eastern half, with a few sites in Ireland.
Once found across Cornwall in about 50 1km squares; by 1970 it was recorded in only five, and since 1999 from only two sites.
Habitat & Ecology
In open, gravelly or sandy soils. In the most recent sites it has been recorded from sandy earth (in a granite area) in bulb-fields near Wendron (SW73) where it was frequent, with hundreds of plants over four fields; and near St. Endellion (SW97) where only three plants were found on a rocky bank. Searches at other post-1970 sites have been unsuccessful.
The bulb-field site near Wendron is now under grass, but the rocky bank near St. Endellion is not thought to be under threat.
A crop-rotation regime including growing bulbs could be established at the Wendron site, but it is not known if plants will reappear.
Note: Scleranthus annuus subsp. polycarpos has also been recorded in Cornwall, but only
from one site near Kennack Sands (SW71) in 1969. It has not been recorded since then.
I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.
The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.