Sanguisorba officinalis


Sp. Pl. 1: 116. 1753

Common names: Great burnet burnet-bloodwort
Synonyms: Poterium officinale (Linnaeus) A. Gray Sanguisorba microcephala C. Presl S. officinalis subsp. microcephala (C. Presl) Calder & Roy L. Taylor
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 9. Treatment on page 323. Mentioned on page 321, 322.
Plants 3–20 dm. Leaves: blade 5–40 cm, leaflets (7–)11–15, orbiculate to ovate, to 7 × 5 cm, lengths 1.5–2.5 times widths, base cuneate, truncate, rounded, or cordate, without stipels. Spikes 50–250-flowered, ellipsoid or ovoid, main 1.5–3 cm, flowering basipetal. Flowers: calyx lobes dark purple, midveins not thickened distally; stamen lengths ± equal to hypanthium lobes, filaments 1.5–2.5 mm, filiform throughout. 2n = 56, 112.

Phenology: Flowering (Jun–)Jul–Sep; fruiting Aug–Oct.
Habitat: Muskeg, fens, bogs, swamps, tundra, stream banks (especially in ice-scoured areas), often on serpentine rock
Elevation: 0–1600 m


V9 527-distribution-map.jpg

B.C., N.W.T., N.S., Yukon, Alaska, Calif., Maine, Mich., Oreg., Pa., Wash., n Europe, n Asia.


Occurrences of Sanguisorba officinalis in eastern North America represent introductions from Eurasia; the species is native in western North America. Near the southern end of its distribution in western North America, the species is generally found over serpentine substrates. There seem to be no consistent differences upon which to base a taxonomic distinction at any level between native northwestern North American plants (S. microcephala) and Eurasian S. officinalis in the strict sense.

Lower Taxa


AuthorAlan S. Weakley +
AuthorityLinnaeus +
Common nameGreat burnet + and burnet-bloodwort +
DistributionB.C. +, N.W.T. +, N.S. +, Yukon +, Alaska +, Calif. +, Maine +, Mich. +, Oreg. +, Pa. +, Wash. +, n Europe + and n Asia. +
Elevation0–1600 m +
HabitatMuskeg, fens, bogs, swamps, tundra, stream banks (especially in ice-scoured areas), often on serpentine rock +
Illustration copyrightFlora of North America Association +
IllustratorMarjorie C. Leggitt +
PhenologyFlowering (Jun–)Jul–Sep + and fruiting Aug–Oct. +
Publication titleSp. Pl. +
Publication year1753 +
Referencenordborg1963a +
Source xml grained fna xml/V9/V9 527.xml +
SynonymsPoterium officinale +, Sanguisorba microcephala + and S. officinalis subsp. microcephala +
Taxon familyRosaceae +
Taxon nameSanguisorba officinalis +
Taxon parentSanguisorba +
Taxon rankspecies +
VolumeVolume 9 +