Vegetative Growth
Flowering Plant



(Sanguisorba minor)

Burnet is a forage herb, It is noted for having deep tap roots, which helps it remain green on thin, dry soils. It is also early to grow in the spring, contributing to forage in late March to April.


Generally used as a constituent of diverse grazing swards, to improve drought tolerance and mineral content.


This is a perennial species, although it can disappear from a sward if over grazed during its establishment stage.


Burnet is commonly mixed with sheep's parsley, yarrow and ribgrass to increase diversity and lift trace elements from deep within the soil profile. It has a high grazing quality and a long season. It is not advised to be sown as a pure stand, but is a healthy addition to grazing pastures.

Frost Tolerance

Good frost tolerance.

Sowing Rate Advice

9kg per acre / 22.5kg per ha.

Not normally sown as a pure stand.

Mixture Sowing Rate Advice

1kg per acre - 2.5kg per ha.

One of the larger forage herb seeds, so a robust inclusion is needed in mixtures to transfer to a sufficient amount of plants in the field.

Ideal Sowing Time

It can be sown from spring until autumn, although late autumn sowing is not recommended.


Over grazing when young, or excessive grazing during establishment may reduce the plant population.

Distinguishing characteristics


An oval shaped, angular seed, with 4 obvious raised fins, running along its length from end to end. It is a fawn to light brown colour, with an obvious rough textured surface. Generally the largest forage herb seed, its 3 - 4mm in length.


The seedling produces two rounded to oval cotyledons on shorts stalks, before going on to produce the first almost trifoliate shaped, toothed, first true leaf.

Vegetative State

Flowering Plant

Flowering Plant
Usually a pale to dull green coloured plant. Burnet has easily distinguishable concertina shaped leaves arranged in pairs on a darker coloured reddish, brown centre stalk, each leaflet has toothed margins and a defined midrib. The densely packed flower heads terminate on long curving stalks, oblong in shape and crimson in colour, smooth before fully flowering. It grows from a basal rosette and will eventually form tufted, upright erect stems. A deep rooting species, developing strong taproots.

Additional Info

Flowers from June to September.

Works well with

Commonly mixed with sheep's parsley, yarrow and ribgrass as a herbs addition to grass mixtures.

You can find Burnet in the following mixtures


Noted in the 1700s, when grazed by dairy cows it enhanced the flavour of both butter and cheese.