Burnet-saxifrage - Pimpinella saxifraga

Alternative names
Burnet Saxifrage

A medium plant, stem scarcely ridged, hollow but tough. Flowers white, occasionally with a pinkish tinge 2 mm, borne in umbels without bracts or bracteoles.  It is usually downy, but can be glabrous, and the basal leaves are very variable - sometimes finely divided into lobes and sometimes with oval toothed lobes. 

Similar Species

Some glabrous specimens with divided leaves can look a bit like Pignut

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

A grassland species, very variable.  No bracts or bracteoles, fruits rounded and glabrous.

Recording advice

A side-on photo of the plant in its habitat, showing umbels and basal leaves


Grassland, rocky places, roadsides and railway verges, often on calcareous soils.

When to see it

July and August.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Locally frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 198 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as native; occasional, but locally frequent where it occurs

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map