Scientific name Festuca rubra – Juncus gerardii saltmarsh
Common name Red Fescue – Saltmarsh Rush saltmarsh
Community code SM4B


SM4B: Festuca rubra – Juncus gerardii saltmarsh  SM4B: Festuca rubra – Juncus gerardii saltmarsh  SM4B map: Festuca rubra – Juncus gerardii saltmarsh

Download full pdf synopsis: SM4B



This community is dominated by a mixture of Festuca rubra and Juncus gerardii, alongside which occur Glaux maritima, Plantago maritima and Triglochin maritimum as constants. Agrostis stolonifera is frequent and can on occasion be abundant. Also frequently found here are Armeria maritima and Aster tripolium, while Cochlearia officinalis and Leontodon autumnalis are occasional.



This is an upper marsh community that is infrequently inundated. Conditions are base-rich.



No sub-communities have been described for this community.


Similar communities

The abundance of Juncus gerardii serves to distinguish this community from the other Festuca rubra swards of group SM4. In SM6D, Juncus gerardii is also a key species, but in that community Agrostis stolonifera usually replaces Festuca rubra as the main grass species.


Conservation value

Almost all examples of this vegetation qualify as EU HD Annex I habitat 1330 Atlantic salt meadows. It is typically a species-poor community, but does contain some specialist species.



The main threat to this saltmarsh community is probably grazing by livestock. Sea-level rises as a result of climate change could potentially have an impact, particularly in areas susceptible to coastal squeeze.