Salad burnet

A low perennial with characteristic claret flowers. A versatile plant: an ingredient of soups and salads that replaces cucumbers, an addition to craft alcohols, a detoxifying herb. Wild, non-cultivar seeds.

SKU: N030

6,00 18,00 

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About the species

Polish name: smaller bleeding-stopper, in folklorepimpinella, pimpernelle (not recommended, because it is the same as for the anise)

Latin name: Sanguisorba minor Scop. (syn. Poterium magnolii, Poterium polygamum)

Family: the roses Rosaceae

Status in Poland: native to some regions, in others only as a weed, spice or medicinal plant

perennial plant
Flower color:
about 30 cm


Perennialplant (subshrub with woody shoots) forming a rosette, in warmer climate it can be evergreen.

Low or medium stem, up to 60 cm high (thus actually smaller than the related great burnet), covered with harsh to the touch hairs, usually getting woody after the first year.

The leaves are compound, imparipinnate, with individual elliptical and coarsely toothed leaflets.

Individual flowers, usually aquamarine or glaucous tinted, with time claret, are unisexual: female flowers with a bistyled pistil are formed at the apex of the inflorescence, and male flowers with 10-20 white-filament stamens are formed at the base. It blooms all summer and early fall, from June to September.

The fruit is a typical of this genus achene covered by sepals. The seeds orthodox type only, with a TSW of 5-7 g. The average germination rate is 9-12%.

Additional information


Requires sunny or semi-shaded locations, moderately fertile, moist, and well-drained soil.

A component of dry meadows and warm grasslands.

When growing salad burnet for salads and sauces, usually the inflorescences are removed to make the plant producing more leaves.

Interesting facts

The salad burnet is a primeval, slightly forgotten crop plant. It played a significant role in medieval Europe as a vegetable and spice. Leaves and inflorescences used to replace cucumbers, mint or pear in marinades for fish and poultry, soups, salads and cool summer drinks.

In some parts of Germany (Hesse, Frankfurt) green sauces are made of it to this day. They were also used to flavor wines and vodkas. It used to be use as a medicine for poisoning, diarrhea and haemorrhage.

It was one of the favorite vegetables of the English philosopher Bacon and the American President Jefferson.

Salad burnet in seed mixtures:

Use Value

As a largely wind-pollinated species, it is sometimes less attractive to bees than other rose family species. However, bees visit it quite willingly, and it has also been sown by beekeepers for a long time.

It is the larvae host of the rare butterfly Red-underwing Skipper..


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