Sanguisorba minor
Common Name: burnet 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Northern Africa, western Asia, Europe
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July
Bloom Description: Greenish with purple-tinged styles
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Herb, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Intolerant of drought. Regularly cut back older leaves to promote growth of young leaves which have the best taste. Freely self-seeds. Remove flower stalks immediately after bloom unless self-seeding is desired. Evergreen in warm winter climates. Foliage will usually not survive St. Louis winters, but can be harvested well after the first frost.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sanguisorba minor, called salad burnet, is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and the Mediterranean. It is primarily grown in herb gardens for its tasty leaves. Features compound pinnate leaves in a low, mounded rosette to 12" tall and 24" wide. Each leaf has 4-12 pairs of rounded, toothed leaflets (to 1 inch long). Tiny greenish flowers with purple-tinged styles appear in rounded heads on erect stalks rising well above the foliage (to 2' tall) in midsummer. Flowering stalks are somewhat interesting but not particularly ornamental and are often removed by gardeners who are more interested in harvesting the leaves for culinary use. Young leaves have the best taste (reminiscent of cucumber). Leaves are used fresh off the plant in salads, soups, herbal butters, vinegars or cold drinks. Synonymous with and sometimes sold as Poterium sanguisorba.

Genus name comes from the Latin words sanguis meaning blood and sorbeo meaning to soak up for its use to stop bleeding.

Specific epithet means smaller.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Borders, herb gardens, vegetable gardens.