Salad Burnet, Sanguisorba minor, A Hidden Gem In The Wild, Offers A Delicious And Versatile Addition To Your UK Garden. Here’s Why You Should Consider Adding It To Your Veggie Patch Or Lawn.

Fresh Salad burnet Leaves All Year Round

How to Grow Salad burnet as a perennial veg in uk gardens.

Unlike many other herbs, salad burnet provides a steady supply of edible greens throughout most of the year. You can harvest young leaves in winter and spring for salads, while mature leaves add a unique touch to soups and stews. And if you want fresh leaves later in summer and autumn, just cut back the mature growth a bit and it’ll spring back again.

A Taste Treat

Salad burnet boasts a unique flavour – slightly bitter with a hint of cucumber. It can add a refreshing and unexpected element to your dishes or drinks. Eat the flower heads alone toad they taste, and have the texture of an immature grain.

Salad Burnet, Historical Legacy On Farms And In Kitchens

Salad burnet has been a “culinary companion” for centuries. It was even grown as cattle feed due to its reliable year-round growth in favourable conditions. Plus, it readily responds to cutting by producing new leaves – a gardener’s trick to keep fresh greens coming.

Easy to Grow:

This low-maintenance herb thrives in poor, dry soil, making it ideal for sunny spots in your garden, especially, even on sandy or chalky soils. It’s native to the UK (though less common in Ireland) and adds a touch of old world wild charm to your herb collection.

The Latin & Science Bit

  • Scientific Name: Sanguisorba minor subsp. minor
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Height: 30-60 cm
  • Leaves: Ovate, serrated leaflets (0.5-2 cm)
  • Flowers: Green to dull purplish (7-12mm)
  • Status: Perennial, native

Salad burnet plants are perennials, so we can enjoy its benefits for years to come. Plant it in well-drained soil in a sunny spot and give it a good watering if needed (though I never bother with watering). Regular harvesting encourages new growth, so don’t be shy about using it throughout the year.

How to Cultivate Sangusorba minor!

  • Harvest: For the best flavour, harvest leaves when the plant starts to flower. Consistent harvesting can encourage new growth even in autumn and winter.
  • Salads: The young leaves are perfect for adding a refreshing touch to your salads. Just try a leaf or two to begin with!
  • Soups and Stews: Mature leaves add a unique flavour dimension to soups and stews.
  • Herbal Tea: Dried leaves retain their aroma and make an interesting herbal tea.
  • Salad Burnet Vinegar: Bruised leaves can be infused in vinegar for a delicious and unique flavouring.
  • Infused oil: Try infusing the plant in oil for an interesting salad dressing.
  • Claret Cup: Add a touch of salad burnet to this refreshing summer drink (iced claret wine, carbonated water, fruits, and sugar).

More Than Just Delicious, Potential Medical Uses

Salad burnet also has a history of medicinal use. I have no expertise in this so cannot recommend it. One thing I keep reading is that cows fed on salad burnet are said to produce more milk! I doubt that today. But in medieval times, when forage was hard to find in winter, salad burnet might well have been a welcome fodder crop.

My Salad Burnet Conclusions

With its ease of care, year-round availability, and unique flavour, salad burnet is a good addition to any UK garden. So why not give it a try and discover a new culinary adventure?

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