Scientific name Festuca rubra – Armeria maritima saltmarsh
Common name Red Fescue – Thrift saltmarsh
Community code SM4C


SM4C: Festuca rubra – Armeria maritima saltmarsh  SM4C: Festuca rubra – Armeria maritima saltmarsh  SM4C map: Festuca rubra – Armeria maritima saltmarsh

Download full pdf synopsis: SM4C



In this saltmarsh community, the vegetation is typically dominated by Festuca rubra, with Plantago maritima and Armeria maritima also fairly plentiful. Glaux maritima is the only other constant species. Aster tripolium and Triglochin maritimum are frequent plants in this assemblage, while Cochlearia officinalis and Plantago coronopus are occasional.



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



No sub-communities have been described for this community.


Similar communities

Plantago maritima and Armeria maritima are both far more abundant here than in the other communities of group SM4, but tend to not quite reach the levels of cover that are found in the communities of group SM3, within which Festuca rubra is less frequent.


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.