Scientific name Schoenus nigricans – Succisa pratensis fen
Common name Black Bog-rush – Devil’s-bit Scabious fen
Community code FE1B


FE1B: Schoenus nigricans – Succisa pratensis fen   FE1B: Schoenus nigricans – Succisa pratensis fen   FE1B map: Schoenus nigricans – Succisa pratensis fen

Download full pdf synopsis: FE1B



This a tussocky fen community dominated Schoenus nigricans and Molinia caerulea. Other constant species in the field layer are Succisa pratensis, Carex panicea, Potentilla erecta and Cirsium dissectum, whilst Mentha aquatica and Carex flacca are frequently found. There is usually a notable ‘brown moss’ bryophyte layer in which Campylium stellatum is the mainstay and Ctenidium molluscum is frequent, while, occasionally, one will find Fissidens adianthoides or the sickle-leaved Drepanocladus cossoni/revolvens, and less often Scorpidium scorpioides. Calliergonella cuspidata is also occasional.



This community occurs in wet fens and flushes on mildly basic, nutrient-poor peats



No sub-communities are described.


Similar communities

The most closely related community is the FE1A Schoenus nigricans – Campylium stellatum fen. Both communities contain Schoenus, Molinia and a suite of ‘brown mosses’. FE1A, however, contains many species of ombrotrophic bogs including Eriophorum angustifolium, Menyanthes trifoliata, Myrica gale, Potamogeton polygonifolius, Erica tetralix, Drosera spp. and Narthecium ossifragum, which are absent from the more meadow-like 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 and Sphagnum spp. The Molinia grasslands of group GL1C, in which Cirsium dissectum is also found, lack both Schoenus and brown mosses.


Conservation value

Examples of this community with high cover of Schoenus nigricans, Carex spp. and brown mosses should correspond with the EU HD Annex I habitat 7230 Alkaline fens. Examples with Cirsium dissectum or Dactylorhiza incarnata may correspond with the fen variant of habitat 6410 Molinia meadows. Geyer’s whorl snail (Vertigo geyeri), an EU HD Annex II species, has been recorded from this community at several sites.



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