Pimpinella saxifraga (Burnet Saxifrage)
|Also known as:||Solid-stem Burnet Saxifrage|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; disturbed, often rocky soil; fields, roadsides|
|Bloom season:||June - September|
|Plant height:||2 to 3 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: none MW: UPL NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flat clusters (umbels) made up of 7 to 20 groups (umbellets) of 10 to 20 flowers each. Flowers are white, sometimes tinged pink, about 1/6 inch across with 5 petals, a creamy colored center and a pair of styles at the top.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are few and widely spaced, alternate, pinnately compound and variously covered in short hairs. The lowest leaves are up to 12 inches long, its leaflets oval to nearly round with large, coarse teeth. Leaves become progressively smaller as they ascend the stem, becoming deeply lobed in the upper plant.
At the base of the leaf is a sheath that wraps around the stem. In the upper stem a leaf may be absent leaving only the sheath. Stems are densely covered in very short hairs and have faint ribbing. Plants are few branched.
Just what we needed - a new non-native carrot species. Burnet Saxifrage is not on anyone's radar at this time and is no doubt under-reported in the state due to its (superficial) similarities to other weedy white carrot species, most of which have more finely divided leaves. Its lower leaves and seedlings more closely resemble Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), which has yellow flowers and causes severe burns when affected skin is exposed to sunlight. We found Burnet Saxifrage growing alongside Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota), a much more widespread species with showy bracts, and we received a report from Beltrami County, where it was described as “invading our fields from a neighbor and is laying down a mat that nothing else grows through”. Wisconsin recognizes Burnet Saxifrage as a new invasive species, or at least a species to watch, and it is apparently under-reported there as well.
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- Burnet Saxifrage plant structure
- Burnet Saxifrage plant
- an infestation of Burnet Saxifrage
- upper stem leaf
- mid stem leaf
- umbel with a bract
- Burnet Saxifrage seedlings
- leaves similar to Wild Parsnip
Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken at Elm Creek Park Preserve, Hennepin County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?