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 checklist (your specimen should have all of these features)

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

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
21/09/2005 (Lizzy Peat)
Last record:
04/08/2023 (lemmon, roy)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

The latest images and records displayed below include those awaiting verification checks so we cannot guarantee that every identification is correct. Once accepted, the record displays a green tick.

In the Latest Records section, click on the header to sort A-Z, and again to sort Z-A. Use the header boxes to filter the list.

Latest images

Latest records

Photo of the association

Phytomyza pimpinellae

The larvae of the Agromyzid fly Phytomyza pimpinellae mine the leaves of Greater Burnet-saxifrage and Burnet-saxifrage producing a broad, relatively short, upper surface mine with conspicuous feeding lines of frass.