A short to medium height grassland perennial with greyish pinnate leaves and a rounded flower head of small green flowers with bright red styles (see main photograph). The leaves smell and taste pleasantly of cucumber. Until recently this species was know by the old botanical name of Sanguisorba minor.
Sanguisorba minor, the salad burnet, garden burnet, small burnet, or burnet, is a plant in the family Rosaceae that is native to western, central and southern Europe; northwest Africa and southwest Western Asia; and which has naturalized in most of North America.
Salad burnet is a perennial herbaceous plant growing to 40–90 cm tall, typically found in dry grassy meadows, often on limestone soils. It is drought-tolerant, and grows all year around (remains evergreen in cooler temperatures).
Salad Burnet also has a respectable history, called a favorite herb by Francis Bacon, and was brought to the New World with the first English colonists, even getting special mention by Thomas Jefferson. Salad burnet has in the past been used medicinally in Europe to control bleeding. Burnet flowers in early summer. The unusual crimson, ball-shaped bloom clusters are generally removed to encourage leafy growth, and the cut flowers are used in floral arrangements.
This plant is useful.
How to get rid of:
Remove flower stalks immediately after bloom unless self-seeding is desired.