Scarlet pimpernel or Burnet saxifrage
Herbaceous perennial resembling Queen Anne's lace.
OverviewOther names for this plant
- Common names: solid-stem burnet-saxifrage, burnet saxifrage, lesser saxifrage
- Scientific names: Pimpinella saxifraga ssp. saxifraga, P. saxifraga ssp. nigra
- Invades grasslands and woodlands; prefers dry, well-drained, calcareous soils (particularly chalk and limestone downs). It also grows well in rich soils and occasionally acidic sands.
- Rapidly spreads by human activity and vehicles, especially along roadsides.
- Plants have very high seed production.
- This species is sold as an ornamental.
Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted
Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for burnet-saxifrage was based upon this literature review developed by the department.
Leaves & stems: Bipinnate leaves with numerous, oppositely arranged leaflets.
Flowers: White umbel flowers resemble Queen Anne's lace. Flowers are perfect (containing both male and female reproductive parts) and self-fertile.
Roots: Dark taproot, semi-woody.
- Hand-pull plants, being sure to remove the taproot.
- Mow plants before or during flower to prevent seed-set. Monitor for re-sprouts.
- Apply glyphosate according to label rates.
View burnet-saxifrage pictures in our photo gallery.
ResourcesSources for content
- Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium. 2010. Plants of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, WI 54481 USA.
- Huja, A., et al. 2009. “Tolerance of a perennial herb, Pimpinella saxifraga, to simulated flower herbivory and grazing: immediate repair of injury or postponed reproduction?” Plant Ecology 201(2): 599-609.
- Lukes, Roy. Retired director of the Ridges Sanctuary. Personal communications.