Carex nigra

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaCyperaceaeCarexCarex nigra


C. nigra occurs in a wide range of wet habitats, avoiding only those which are extremely basic or acidic. It is found in fens, fen-meadows, bogs, streamsides and flushes, wet grassland and dune-slacks. This sedge is morphologically very variable: tussock forms may occur in stagnant, acidic sites, and rhizomatous tufted variants are known from calcareous mires. 0-1005 m (Beinn Heasgarnich, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element; also in N. America.

Broad Habitats

Fen, marsh and swamp (not wooded)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 8

Reaction (Ellenberg): 4

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.3

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1131

Life form information

Height (cm): 70

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2582

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 876

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 5

Atlas Change Index: -0.01

Weighted Changed Factor: -11

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 (364d)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jermy AC, Chater AO, David RW
1982.  Sedges of the British Isles. Botanical Society of the British Isles Handbook no. 1, edn 2.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.