Salad Burnet - Poterium sanguisorba

    Alt Name
    Sanguisorba minor
    Description

    The native plant is subspecies sanguisorba.  Short, rather greyish tufted plant: leaves mostly basal, pinnate with 3 to 12 pairs of rounded or elliptical leaflets. Flowerheads globose, 10 to 20 mm, upper flowers with reddish styles, lower with yellow anthers.

    Fodder Burnet (subspecies balearicum) is occasional in wildflower seed-mixes ; it is more robust and leafy, with more deeply and sharply toothed leaflets. 

    Similar Species

    Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis).  Salad and Fodder Burnet have rounded leaves; Great Burnet leaves have cordate bases and the plant is much taller (to 1m).

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Rounded leaves

    Habitat

    Dry grassland and rocky areas.

    When to see it

    End of April to September.

    Life History

    Perennial

    UK Status

    Fairly common and widespread in England and Wales, more coastal in Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    It is fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland, but mainly found to the eastern side of Leicestershire and occasional elsewhere in the county. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 121 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current checklist (Jeeves, 2011),  the native Salad Burnet (subspecies sanguisorba) is listed as locally frequent, and Fodder Burnet (subspecies balearicum) is listed as alien and rare.  The latter is becoming commoner through introduction in wildflower seed-mixes.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map