Ontario Weeds: Small burnet

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Leaves
  7. Flowers and Fruit
  8. Habitat
  9. Similar Species
  10. Related Links

Name: Small burnet, Sanguisorba minor Scop.,

Other Names: Salad burnet, sanguisorbe mineure, petite pimprenelle

Family: Rose Family (Rosaceae)

General Description: Perennial, reproducing only by seed.

Photos and Pictures

Small burnet.

Small burnet.
Small burnet.

Stems & Roots: Stems 20-70cm (8-28in.) high, spreading or erect from the short, thick underground rootstalk, slender, wiry, usually branched in the upper part; rosette.

Leaves: Numerous, pinnately compound with up to 17 small oval leaflets, each with 3 to 7 prominent teeth on each side, usually lighter green below than above; stem leaves alternate (1 per node), scattered, shorter and have fewer leaflets; stipules small and toothed on upper stem leaves but very small or absent from rosette and lower stem leaves.

Flowers & Fruit: Flowers individually very small but clustered together in dense, ovoid, greenish heads on long leafless branches; each flower has 4 small, green or brown sepals but no petals, the lower flowers in each head having no pistils but many stamens with long drooping filaments; the upper flowers having 2 pistils but no stamens, or being bisexual with both stamens and pistils; each pistil producing a pair of semi-ovoid hard seeds. Flowers from May to July.

Habitat: Small burnet occurs in several scattered localities in southern Ontario, usually in coarse sandy or gravelly soils, in pastures, meadows, waste areas, and roadsides.

Similar Species: It is distinguished by its pinnately compound leaves with many, small, toothed leaflets, and its greenish, ovoid heads of many densely packed small flowers.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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