Scientific name Schoenus nigricans – Campylium stellatum fen
Common name Black Bog-rush – Yellow Starry Feather-moss fen
Community code FE1A


FE1A: Schoenus nigricans – Campylium stellatum fen   FE1A: Schoenus nigricans – Campylium stellatum fen  FE1A map: Schoenus nigricans – Campylium stellatum fen

Download full pdf synopsis: FE1A



Schoenus nigricans and Molinia caerulea, two constant species in this diverse fen community, lend it a tussocky physiognomy. Also constant here are Menyanthes trifoliata and Eriophorum angustifolium with its distinctive wine-tipped leaves. Frequently one will also find some Carex viridula, Potamogeton polygonifolius, Carex panicea, Anagallis tenella, Drosera rotundifolia, Phragmites australis, Juncus bulbosus or the pale shoots of Selaginella selaginoides. Myrica gale may occur where there is some movement of groundwater and Erica tetralix provides some rather sparse dwarf shrub cover. There is usually a well-developed bryophyte layer composed mainly of the so-called ‘brown mosses’. Campylium stellatum is very frequent and with it are often seen the red-brown swollen shoots of Scorpidium scorpioides or the greasy thalli of Aneura pinguis, while Drepanocladus cossoni/revolvens is occasional.



This community occurs in wet fens and flushes on mildly basic, impoverished peats, often in association with blanket bog.



No sub-communities are described.


Similar communities

The most closely related community is the FE1B Schoenus nigricans – Succisa pratensis fen. Both communities contain Schoenus, Molinia and a suite of ‘brown mosses’. FE1B, however contains many species often found in grassland including Cirsium dissectum, Mentha aquatica, Carex flacca, Euphrasia officinalis agg., Linum catharticum, Lotus corniculatus and Prunella vulgaris, which are absent from the more bog-like FE1A. Succisa pratensis occurs in both communities but is far more frequent in FE1B. The HE4C Molinia caerulea – Schoenus nigricans bog/heath and the BG2D Erica tetralix – Schoenus nigricans bog both share with the present community the feature of tussocky Schoenus and Molinia vegetation, but the FE1B community clearly differs from them in the absence of Calluna vulgaris, the infrequence of Sphagnum spp., and the presence of ‘brown mosses’.


Conservation value

Almost all examples of this community should correspond with the EU HD Annex I habitat 7230 Alkaline fens. Rare examples with Cladium mariscus may correspond with priority habitat 7210 Cladium fens*.



These stands are typically unmanaged but may be grazed by livestock.  The main threats are from peat extraction, infilling, drainage, reclamation and eutrophication.