Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Burnet (Poterium Sanguisorba), a perennial rosaceous plant, common in dry pastures, especially on calcareous soil. It has an angular stem about a foot high, pinnate leaves of 11 to 21 serrate leaflets, with leafy stipules, and compact heads of monoecious flowers without petals. The upper flowers in the head are female, each having an exserted feathery ("penicillate") stigma; whilst each of the lower ones have 20 or 30 pendulous, exserted, pink stamens. As stigma and pollen mature at different times the plant is clearly adapted for wind-pollination. It was formerly eaten in salad, whence its name of "salad burnet," and its leaves, which taste like cucumber, were used in cool tankard, whence the Latin name Poterium, which means a drinking cup.