This work assessed in situ, copper (Cu) uptake and phytotoxicity for durum wheat (Triticum turgidum durum L.) cropped in a range of Cu-contaminated, former vineyard soils (pH 4.2-7.8 and total Cu concentration 32-1,030 mg Cu kg -1) and identified the underlying soil chemical properties and related root-induced chemical changes in the rhizosphere. Copper concentrations in plants were significantly and positively correlated to soil Cu concentration (total and EDTA). In addition, Cu concentration in roots which was positively correlated to soil pH tended to be larger in calcareous soils than in non-calcareous soils. Symptoms of Cu phytotoxicity (interveinal chlorosis) were observed in some calcareous soils. Iron (Fe)-Cu antagonism was found in calcareous soils. Rhizosphere alkalisation in the most acidic soils was related to decreased CaCl2-extractable Cu. Conversely, water-extractable Cu increased in the rhizosphere of both non-calcareous and calcareous soils. This work suggests that plant Cu uptake and risks of Cu phytotoxicity in situ might be greater in calcareous soils due to interaction with Fe nutrition. Larger water extractability of Cu in the rhizosphere might relate to greater Cu uptake in plants exhibiting Cu phytotoxic symptoms.