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Small Burnet, Salad burnet, Garden burnet - Sanguisorba minor


Family: Rosaceae Rose family Genus Common Name: Burnet Native Status: Introduced
Sanguisorba minor - Small Burnet, Salad burnet, Garden burnet. Burnet means brown - color of the post-mature flower heads. Salad Burnet is one of the common names, because the plant was brough over from Europe as a food - it is used in salads, drinks, and dressings, and is reported to have a cucumber-like flavor.

The plant is eaten not only by humans, but also the seeds or foliage are eaten by birds, elk, deer, rodents, hares, and rabbits, and is a valuable food source for these animals. In spite of being non-native, it does not appear to be aggressive in crowding out native species.

Found in:

AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Distribution of Sanguisorba minor in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 31 Jul 2014). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Hull's Gulch, Boise Foothills, Ada County, ID Date: 2011-June-21Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The inflorescence has a tight cluster of sessile flowers, with the upper ones usually being pistillate and the lower ones being staminate. This photo appears to show the pistilate flowers open. There are 4 sepals that appear to be petals, but they lack true petals.
Sanguisorba minor

Site: Hull's Gulch, Boise Foothills, Ada County, ID Date: 2011-June-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The upper flowers are usually pistillate. This shows the lower, staminate flowers.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sanguisorba minor

Site: Hull's Gulch, Boise Foothills, Ada County, ID Date: 2011-June-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Sanguisorba minor grows up to 2 to 3 feet tall with an erect stem. It has basal and cauline (stem) leaves which are pinnately compound.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sanguisorba minor

Site: Hull's Gulch, Boise Foothills, Ada County, ID Date: 2011-June-21Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The pinnately compound leaf is 2 to 8 inches long, with the cauline leaves much reduced higher on the stem.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sanguisorba minor

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2014
Photographs Copyrighted by the named photographer