Scientific name Eleocharis palustris – Agrostis stolonifera marsh/fen
Common name Common Spike-rush – Creeping Bent marsh/fen
Community code FE3C


FE3C map: Eleocharis palustris – Agrostis stolonifera marsh/fen

Download full pdf synopsis: FE3C



This marshy vegetation type is characterised by a mixture of several constant herbaceous species: Eleocharis palustris, Agrostis stolonifera, Mentha aquatica, Apium nodiflorum and Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum agg. Juncus articulatus is frequent while less often there is some presence of Hydrocotyle vulgaris, Persicaria amphibia, Myosotis laxa, Galium palustre, Potentilla anserina, Equisetum fluviatile or Apium inundatum. Where there is some standing water, Hippuris vulgaris, Ranunculus trichophyllus and Lemna minor may be found. Calliergonella cuspidata is occasional and is the only bryophyte likely to be seen,



This wetland community is found in fairly base-rich, mildly eutrophic situations. Often, there is a fluctuating water table, but these areas are unlikely to totally dry out and may retain standing water. It has predominantly been recorded from bottom of turlough basins and dune-slacks in coastal systems, but also from lakes and lagoon margins.



No sub-communities are currently described.


Similar communities

Eleocharis palustris can be a significant plant in the FW3G Equisetum fluviatile – Eleocharis palustris swamp, but that is much less diverse community in which Equisetum fluviatile is the mainstay. There are also some similarities with the FW2E Apium nodiflorum – Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum agg. aquatic community, but Eleocharis palustris is seldom found there.

Conservation value


This community does not have notable plant diversity. This vegetation is found in turlough basins in the mid-west of Ireland where it corresponds with the priority habitat 3180 Turloughs*.  Examples from coastal dune-systems may correspond with the EU HD Annex I habitat 2190 Dune slack. It has also been recorded adjacent to areas corresponding to priority habitat 1150 Lagoon*



Many of these stands are subject to livestock grazing. The main threats are groundwater pollution, drainage, inappropriate grazing and reclamation.