Botanical name: Sanguisorba minor Family: Rosaceae (Rose family)
Synonyms: Poterium sanguisorba
Salad burnet is a plant 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 1-3 ft tall, typically found in dry grassy meadows, often on limestone soils. It is drought-tolerant, and grows all year around. It grows in a circular mound about a foot high and 2 ft in diameter. The mound is formed by pinnately compound leaves about 1 ft long that arch gracefully outward from the center of the plant. The rachis is wiry, and the 6-10 pairs of leaflets are more or less rounded, about 2.5 cm across, and have toothed margins. Tiny purplish or pinkish flowers are borne in compact thimble shaped heads about a 1.3 cm in diameter on flowering stalks that stand 1 ft or so above the leaves. The flowers within the heads are male at the bottom, bisexual in the middle and female at the top. Although interesting, the inflorescence is not at all showy. 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.
Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
The flower labeled Salad Burnet is ...