Succisa pratensis (Devil`s-bit Scabious)


A perennial herb, growing in a wide range of moist to moderately free-draining habitats, and favouring mildly acidic soils. It occurs in woodland rides, in heathland and grassland and in mires, and in the uplands on cliff ledges and in ravines. 0-970 m (Carnedd Dafydd, Caerns.).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Neutral grassland (includes coarse Arrhenatherum grassland)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 7

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1124

Life form information

Height (cm): 100

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Clonality - secondary

Rhizome shortly creeping

Comment on Clonality

"may produce stolons to 10 cm (Biol Flora, 1955); limited potential for clonal growth (J Ecol 91,19,2003)"

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2633

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 934

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 2

Atlas Change Index: -0.57

Weighted Changed Factor: -10

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (269d)
Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 52. Succisa pratensis Moench,
Adams, A. W.
, Journal of Ecology, Volume 43, p.709-718, (1955)

Grime et al
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
Hultén, E., and Fries M.
, Königstein, (1986)

Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols,
Meusel, H., and Jäger E. J.
, Jena, (1992)