Burnet

FAMILY: Rosaceae | GENUS: SANGUISORBA

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water

Plant Details

These plants grow from creeping rhizomes. Leaves are divided featherwise into toothed, oval or roundish leaflets. Small flowers carried in dense, feathery spikes much like small bottle-brush (Callistemon) blossoms.

S. canadensis. AMERICAN BURNET, CANADIAN BURNET. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Native to eastern North America. To 36 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide, with bright green foliage and 8-in. spikes of white flowers in late autumn. Dies to the ground in winter even in mild climates.

S. minor. GARDEN BURNET, SALAD BURNET. Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11. Native to Europe, western Asia. Can reach 112 ft. high and wide but is usually kept clipped to a few inches to maintain a fresh supply of new foliage. Leaves have a mild cucumber flavor and are used in salads, soups, cool drinks. Can be used as an edging for border or herb garden. If not sheared too low, bears roundish, inch-long clusters of red flowers from late spring to midsummer. Self-sows prolifically if allowed to go to seed. Evergreen in all but the Upper South.

S. obtusa. JAPANESE BURNET. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Native to Japan. To 4 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide, with grayish green leaves and pink flower spikes 4 in. tall in summer. Evergreen in all but the coldest winters.

S. officinalis. GREATER BURNET. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Native to northern regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. Grows 34 ft. tall and about half as wide. Basal leaves can reach 20 in. long; leaves on upright, reddish stems are smaller. Young leaves are tasty in soups and salads. Dark reddish-purple flowers are held well above the foliage mass in summer; may need staking. Remove spent blooms to prevent rampant self-seeding. 'Red Thunder' has ruby-red flowers on stiff stems.

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