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Salad Burnet

Photograph by: 
Peter Orchard

A common species of chalk grassland.



  • Salad Burnet: one for the pot

    Post date: Monday, 30 January, 2017 - 21:07

    When I first started taking an interest in plants it took me a while to make the connection between habitat and vegetation. Looking back I find that quite strange as I readily accepted that I would find robins in gardens, nuthatches in woodland and redshank on mudflats. If birds have favoured habitat then why not plants? Now when I walk on to chalk grassland I expect to see certain species and salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) is certainly one of them.

    The burnets are members of the rose family but do not look much like the roses in your garden. The flowers are rounded with little sign of petals, they are quite nondescript really. It is when you look at the leaves you see some similarity with roses in general. The plant itself is quite bushy but rarely grows to two feet tall. It may not look much but at least it is distinctive and easily recognised once you know it.

    Why does the common name include salad? The answer is quite obvious, it was once used in salads it having a mild cucumber taste. It was also widely used as a culinary herb in place of mint. Medicinally it was made into a tea and used to cure diarrhea! One for the pot?


Common Name Salad Burnet
Scientific Name Sanguisorba minor
Species Group Rose Family Rosaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Rose family - Rosaceae
Status Local
Flower Colour Group Green
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
Preferred Environment
Look for A rounded green flower head but with a purple tinge when the stamens are present
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Rose Family Rosaceae