Great Burnet - Sanguisorba officinalis


    A medium to tall tufted hairless plant. Leaves pinnate, the lower with 3 to 7 pairs of oval leaflets greyish beneath. Flowers, tiny, dull crimson in dense oval heads 10 to 30 mm long, with no petals, but with stamens (4) and styles.

    Similar Species

    Salad Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba subsp. sanguisorba) and Fodder Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba subsp. balearicum) - both with rounded leaves

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Tall plant, usually in damp grassland, leaflets with cordate (heart-shaped) bases


    Damp habitats and base rich soils.

    When to see it

    June to September.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Fairly common in the Midlands and northern England but less frequent elsewhere in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Quite common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 353 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011), it is listed as locally abundant

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map