Spartina maritima is a salt-marsh species from European and African Atlantic coasts. In the northern range of the species (including north-west France), a rapid decline of the populations has been observed during the 20th century. In this paper, the molecular diversity of 10 populations of S. maritima from France has been investigated using nuclear and chloroplast DNA markers: inter-simple sequence polymorphism (ISSR), randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), inter-retrotransposon amplified polymorphism (IRAP), and PCR-RFLP of a 5 kb long portion of chloroplast DNA. The results reveal an extremely low level of genetic variation in this species: only one nuclear marker (out of 98) was polymorphic, with the presence of two genotypes randomly distributed among the populations. The lack of genetic diversity is interpreted in light of the almost exclusive vegetative propagation of the species in its northern range, the colonization history of the populations, and the origin of S. maritima (2n = 60) in the hexaploid lineage of the genus and in the context of the management of S. maritima populations.