A relic or escape from cultivation found on field edges, rubbish tips and waste ground, and also as a casual of bird-seed and kitchen waste in these habitats. The male and female flowers are borne on separate inflorescences; pollination is by wind and the seeds are not dispersed but are retained on the cob. Lowland.
Z. angustifolia is a perennial which grows on sheltered tidal mudflats, in estuaries and in coastal lagoons, usually in shallower, more turbid water than Z. marina. It is usually found on mud or muddy sands, between the half-tide and low-tide marks. Lowland.
Z. marina is a perennial which grows in the subtidal zone, on substrates of gravel, sand or sandy mud in areas which are protected from full exposure. It descends to depths of about 4 metres. Lowland.
Although a coastal species, this perennial is found at higher levels of the shore than other Zostera species. It grows in sheltered estuaries and harbours, where it is found on mixed substrates of sand and mud. Plants are often concentrated in pools or runnels on the shore. Lowland.