Page author: David Giblin
Poterium sanguisorba var. polygamum
burnet bloodwort, fodder burnet, small burnet

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest and in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington; southern British Columbia to California, east to the Great Plains, also in eastern North America.

Habitat: Roadsides, shores, pastures, wastelots, and other disturbed open areas.

Flowers: June - August

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia and North Africa

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Herbaceous perennial from a branched, woody base, the flowering, leafy stems 2-6 dm. tall.


Basal leaves several, pinnate, the leaflets 9-17, oval, 1-2 cm. long, coarsely serrate; cauline leaves reduced but with leaf-like stipules.


Inflorescence of ovoid, dense spikes on long peduncles, 8-20 mm. long, each flower subtended by a papery, ovate bract and 2 lateral bractlets; flowers mostly imperfect, the lower ones staminate, the upper ones pistillate; calyx urn-shaped, greenish to rose-tinged, the 4 lobes broad, spreading and petal-like; petals none; stamens about 12, pistils 2.


Fruiting calyx 4-5 mm. long, woody and warty.

Accepted Name:
Poterium sanguisorba L. var. polygamum (Waldst. & Kit.) Vis.
Publication: Fl. Dalmat. 3: 255. 1852.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Poterium balearicum (Bourgeau ex Nyman) Bourgeau ex Porta
Poterium polygamum Waldst. & Kit.
Poterium sanguisorba L. ssp. muricatum (Spach) Rouy
Sanguisorba minor Scop. [HC]
Sanguisorba minor Scop. ssp. balearicum (Bourgeau ex Nyman) F. Muñoz Garmendia & C. Navarro
Sanguisorba minor Scop. ssp. muricata (Bonnier & Layens) Briq.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Poterium sanguisorba var. polygamum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Poterium sanguisorba var. polygamum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Poterium sanguisorba var. polygamum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Poterium sanguisorba var. polygamum photos.

USDA Plants: Poterium sanguisorba var. polygamum information.

13 photographs:
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