Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

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.

Polycarpon tetraphyllum - Four-leaved Allseed

Range & Status

Mediterranean-Atlantic element. Native in the Channel Islands, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, but casual elsewhere. Formerly in Devon, still at one site in Dorset.

Regional Distribution

Frequent in the Isles of Scilly (where it occurs in several 28 1km squares), it is now

reduced to three sites in Cornwall, in one of which, near Cadgwith (SW71), it is certainly native, and in the other two it is evidently a casual.

Habitat & Ecology

An annual of sandy waste-ground and rocky banks. On the Isles of Scilly it occurs on

sand-dunes, bulb-fields and on roadsides, including in pavement cracks. At its one locality in East Cornwall it grows along paths, and in vegetable plots, near a quay.


Loss of marginal habitats and herbicide use.


Favourable management at its Cadgwith site has proven successful.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


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.