Scientific name Eriophorum vaginatum – Vaccinium oxycoccos bog
Common name Hare’s-tail Cottongrass – Cranberry bog
Community code BG2A


BG2A: Eriophorum vaginatum – Vaccinium oxycoccos bog     BG2A map: Eriophorum vaginatum – Vaccinium oxycoccos bog

Download full pdf synopsis: BG2A



This bog vegetation is characterized by a mixture of several constant species. Eriophorum vaginatum tussocks occur alongside bushes of Calluna vulgaris and Erica tetralix and tufts of Eriophorum angustifolium.  Beneath these is a bryophyte layer dominated by Aulacomnium palustre, Sphagnum capillifolium and Sphagnum recurvum agg. and upon this is invariably found a trailing tangle of Vaccinium oxycoccos. Frequently accompanying these species are Molinia caerulea, Drosera rotundifolia, Hypnum jutlandicum, Sphagnum palustre and Andromeda polifolia. Within the bryophyte layer, strands of Odontoschisma sphagni and Calypogeia sphagnicola may be found. Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum papillosum and Sphagnum cuspidatum are occasional, as is Menyanthes trifoliata in wetter areas.



This is a community of relatively intact raised bogs, occurring on deep, acidic, oligotrophic, ombrogenous peats but with some degree of groundwater flushing. It can form the transition between open bog and bog woodland.



This community has two sub-communities described. More strongly flushed areas are covered by the Menyanthes trifoliata – Carex rostrata sub-community (BG2Ai) in which both Molinia caerulea and Sphagnum recurvum agg. are very frequent. Less flushed situations are encompassed by the Andromeda polifolia – Sphagnum magellanicum sub-community (BG2Aii) in which Sphagnum papillosum may often be found.


Similar communities

From the other main raised bog community, BG2B Erica tetralix – Andromeda polifolia bog, this community differs in displaying higher frequencies and abundances of both Vaccinium oxycoccos and Aulacomnium palustre. Andromeda polifolia is rarely encountered outside of these two communities.


Conservation value

All examples of this community qualify as EU HD Annex I habitat 7120 Raised bog (active)*. This is on average a moderately species-poor community but supports several specialists.



The main threat to the raised bogs supporting this vegetation is turf-cutting, either by hand or machine, and associated drainage. Some sites have also suffered from afforestation. Locally, action has been taken to address these impacts and some sites are managed strictly for conservation.