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  Home > Seeds > Umbellifer collection

Burnet Saxifrage  

Burnet Saxifrage

 Pimpinella saxifraga  another umbellifer native to the British Isles and temperate Europe and western Asia.

 It is neither a Burnet, which its leaves resemble, nor a saxifrage, although it has a similar herbal effect as a diuretic.

This is a useful member of this fluffy white flowered family in that it flowers much later than the cow parsely, chervil, etc.; Burnet saxifrage is in flower from July until October if the weather remains mild. Shown here in middle with the fine white flowers in late July in Marc Carlton's garden

The plant forms a rosette of feathery leaves, a winter-green perennial of meadows, pastures and woodland edges. Its long tap root allows it to exploit dry, well drained, calcareous soils (particularly chalk and limestone downs) other base rich soils and, occasionally, acidic sands. Burnet-saxifrage prefers short turf and is suppressed and eventually lost when surrounding grass becomes long. Seed can survive being eaten by cattle and this can result in it being dispersed into new sites. The flowers attract hoverflies and beetles, which in turn are useful predators of pests like aphids.
In common with other Apiacae (Carrot family) seed requires a period of chilling to brake dormancy. It must therefore be sown in the autumn.

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