Salad Burnet – Sanguisorba Minor

Salad Burnet – Sanguisorba Minor

Sanguisorba minor, the salad burnet, garden burnet, small burnet, 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.  It 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.

It is used as an ingredient in both salads and dressings, having a flavor described as “light cucumber” and is considered interchangeable with mint leaves in some recipes, depending on the intended effect. Typically, the youngest leaves are used, as they tend to become bitter as they age.

It 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.



Date Planted

June 15, 2017

Purchase Info

June 14 2017



Diseases and Problems

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Young leaves and shoots – raw or cooked[2, 5, 9, 14, 21]. They are best used before the plant comes into flower[9]. Eaten in salads, used as a garnish or added to soups, cooling drinks and claret cups[183]. Young seedlings are boiled and eaten[183]. A bit fiddly to harvest and the leaves sometimes become bitter in hot dry summers, but they are usually fairly mild tasting in the winter and some people detect a cucumber flavour to them[K]. In the acid soil of our Cornish trial grounds, the leaves have a distinctly bitter flavour, though when the same plants were grown on a chalky soil they had a much milder flavour[K]. The leaves contain about 5.65% protein, 1.2% fat, 11% carbohydrate, 1.7% ash, 74.5% water[179]. A herb tea is made from the dried leaves[21, 183].
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
0 Calories per 100g
Water : 0%
Protein: 11.1g; Fat: 2g; Carbohydrate: 80.4g; Fibre: 18g; Ash: 6.5g;
Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses

Salad burnet has the same medicinal qualities as medicinal burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis).S. officinalis is used medicinally in Asia to treat gastrointestinal conditions and bleeding It was used as a tea to relieve diarrhea in the past.

Astringent; Diaphoretic; Skin; Styptic.

Both the root and the leaves are astringent, diaphoretic and styptic, though the root is most active . The plant is an effective wound herb, quickly staunching any bleeding . . An infusion is used in the treatment of gout and rheumatism . The leaves can be used fresh, or are harvested in July and dried (the plant should be prevented from flowering) . The root is harvested in the autumn and dried . An infusion of the leaves is used as a soothing treatment for sunburn or skin troubles such as eczema .
Other Uses
Soil reclamation; Soil stabilization.

Plants have extensive root systems and are used for erosion control, they are also used to reclaim landfills and mined-out terrain.


Sanguisorba minor is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Prefers a light dry calcareous soil  but succeeds in most good soils  Plants also succeed in poor soils . One report says that it grows well in marshy soil  but this is possibly a mistake . Dislikes shade . Occasionally cultivated in the herb garden, this is an evergreen herbaceous plant and it supplies fresh edible leaves all the year round, even in quite severe winters . When grown as a salad, the plant should be prevented from flowering . Grows well in the spring meadow . Makes a good edging plant in the border . Plants often self-sow, sometimes to the point of nuisance .

Seed – sow March/April or September/October in a cold frame. Germinates in 3 weeks. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle into individual pots. Plant them out in the spring or early summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in spring or autumn if you have sufficient seed. Division in spring.