Small Burnet

  • excellent pollinator
  • relished by wildlife, especially deer and elk
  • valued in mixes for erosion control
  • relatively long-lived evergreen
  • perennial forb
  • hardy and drought tolerant
  • thrives in full sunlight
  • bright pink flowers bloom in the summer



Small burnet (Sanguisorba minor) is a hardy, relatively long-lived, evergreen, introduced, perennial forb. It is fairly drought tolerant and thrives in full sunlight. Bright pink flowers bloom in the summer.

Small burnet is distributed primarily throughout the West and Northeast. Adapted to many sites throughout the Intermountain Region with 12 inches or more of precipitation per year. Generally does not persist below 14 inches. Small burnet does best on well drained soils and infertile to disturbed soils. It has excellent cold winter and drought tolerance. It tolerates weakly saline to weakly acidic sites. Small burnet is not tolerant of poor drainage, flooding or high water tables. Use in open areas. Will tolerate minor semi-shaded conditions. It is considered fire resistant due to leaves and stems staying green with relatively high moisture content during the fire seasonSmall BurnetThe variety Delar is a hardy, evergreen perennial forb with a strong tap root. More drought tolerant than unimproved strains, surviving on sites with only 12 inches of annual precipitation. Delar is winter-hardy as well.

Small burnet is noted to have good to excellent forage value for livestock and wildlife during all seasons. It stays green throughout the growing season and into winter until heavy snow cover occurs, providing forage and seed to livestock and wildlife. It provides excellent diversity to the seeded plant community.

Small Burnet will easily establish at the lower rainfall zones, but may not persist below 14 inches. It is not tolerant of shade, poor drainage, flooding or high water tables. It does well seeded in mixtures with other species. Its intended uses are erosion control, reclamation, rangeland improvement, wildlife forage, and site diversity. Valued in mixes for erosion control and for beautification. Very desirable forage for elk, deer, antelope and birds either as herbage or seed. Birds use the seed in fall, winter and spring. It also provides cover for selected small bird species. It provides diversity to the plant community.

‘Delar’ is a selected release from seed originating from European sources. The name ‘Delar’ denotes pleasing or alluring after the attractive green lush appearance of the plant. ‘Delar’ was selected by Aberdeen Plant Materials Center for outstanding seed and forage production, good cold tolerance and palatability for both livestock and wildlife. It was released in 1981 by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the University of Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station. ‘Delar’ is a hardy, relatively long-lived, evergreen, non-leguminous, introduced, perennial forb from 6 inches tall on droughty sites to approximately 25 inches tall on irrigated sites. It is well adapted to sunny flatlands to open slopes, well drained soils from moderately basic to weakly acidic, 12 to 18 inch rainfall areas, at 1,000 to 6,000 feet elevation.


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