BURNET-SAXIFRAGE

Pimpinella saxifraga

Carrot Family [Apiaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
morph
morph8hemizygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZumbel
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8ribbed

8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
An upright but daintier umbellifer growing to 70cm. Each branch with a pinnate leaf immediately beneath.


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Branches may themselves have branches. The pinnate leaf immediately beneath emerges from a long and only slightly-inflated sheath.


4th July 2015, sand-dunes, Leasowe Lighthouse, Wirral. Photo: © RWD
The slightly-inflated sheaths may turn reddish purple with lengthways striations.


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Both umbels and umbellules totally lack any bracts or bracteoles immediately beneath them.


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
An umbellule, no bracteoles beneath.


4th July 2015, sand-dunes, Leasowe Lighthouse, Wirral. Photo: © RWD
Umbels are compound with 10-22 smooth rays which are 2-3cm long (1-4.5 cm long max range). Umbel about 20-50mm across.


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers white without pink tendency.


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Two white styles poke slightly above the canopy of the flowerhead.


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers mostly actinomorphic; only the outermost may be slightly zygomorhoc (hence the designation hemi-zygomorphic)


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Styles straight and shorter than the petals when in flower, elongating later in fruit before often dropping off as the fruit ripens. Three now-brown stamens can be seen on one flower. Most umbels on Burnet-saxifrage have hermaphroditic flowers (M + F on the same flower).


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Styles splay out at a characteristic angle reminiscent of miniature set-top-box TV aerials from the 60's. Note the characteristic white (at the moment) cap (stylopodium) not present on all umbellifer atop the (green at the moment) double-barrelled fruit also characteristic of umbellifers. Like many umbellifers the flowers lack sepals. Petals hairy beneath (not shown).


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
An umbel turning to fruit.


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
An umbellule of fruits. White cap now bright pink. Styles now like tiny burnt candle-wicks.


8th Aug 2015, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The double-barrelled fruit cases still green, but will turn brown and develop more prominent ridges. The fruits are about 2-2.5mm long and will fatten up into a laterally-compressed ovoid. The fruit are on hairless stalks (pedicels) about 5mm long.


4th July 2015, sand-dunes, Leasowe Lighthouse, Wirral. Photo: © RWD
The stems nearer the bottom are slightly ribbed and very shortly hairy. Leaves very variable. The lowest and upper leaves are 1-pinnate, with the central leaves often being 2-pinnate.


9th Aug 2014, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Here leaf 1-pinnate and with narrow but widely-separated leaflets.


9th Aug 2014, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
This too is a lower leaf, on a very long stalk. It is 1-pinnate and sharply toothed looking more like those of Fodder Burnet from the Rose Family, hence the moniker Burnet-saxifrage. The stalks have a slightly u-shaped cross-section as viewed from the top.


9th Aug 2014, sand-dunes, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaves here shortly hairy, as is the rachis and stalk.


Some similarities to : Greater Burnet-Saxifrage (Pimpinella major) but that is taller at up to 1.2m, is rather stout with prominently-ridged stems which are hollow (even when old - those of Burnet-saxifrage are only hollow when young) and with 1-pinnate leaves which are very rarely 2-pinnate.

Slight resemblance to : Upright Hedge-Parsley (Torilis japonica) which is similar in proportions and size, but often has pinkish flowers, but the leaves are very different.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : See photo captions.

No relation to : Burnets such as Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis), Salad Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba ssp. sanguisorba) or Fodder Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba ssp. balearicum) [plants with similar names from the Rose Family (Roseaceae)] nor to any Saxifrages such as Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata), Starry Saxifrage (Saxifraga stellaris) or Mossy Saxifrage (Saxifraga hypnoides) [plants from the Saxifrage Family (Saxifragaceae)].

Grows mainly on chalk and limestone in grassy places, and thus also likes old sand dunes where grains of crushed sea-shells (made of calcium carbonate) neutralise the rather acidic silicon dioxide sand grains, making it slightly alkaline.


USE BY BUTTERFLIES
LAYS EGGS ON CATERPILLAR CHRYSALIS BUTTERFLY
Grizzled Skipper
Ringlet
Small Copper



  Pimpinella saxifraga  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Apiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carrot family8Apiaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Pimpinella
Pimpinella
(Burnet-Saxifrages)

BURNET-SAXIFRAGE

Pimpinella saxifraga

Carrot Family [Apiaceae]