Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Sanguisorba officinalis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RosaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: ROSE FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree, glandular or not. Leaf: simple to palmately or pinnately compound, generally alternate; stipules free to fused (0), persistent to deciduous. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, cluster, or flowers 1; bractlets on pedicel ("pedicel bractlets") generally 0--3(many), subtended by bract or generally not. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium free or fused to ovary, saucer- to funnel-shaped, subtending bractlets ("hypanthium bractlets") 0--5, alternate sepals; sepals generally 5; petals generally 5, free; stamens (0,1)5--many, anther pollen sacs generally 2; pistils (0)1--many, simple or compound, ovary superior to inferior, styles 1--5. Fruit: 1--many per flower, achene (fleshy-coated or not), follicle, drupe, or pome with generally papery core, occasionally drupe-like with 1--5 stones. Seed: generally 1--5 (per fruit, not per flower).
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 3000 species: worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for ornament, fruit, especially Cotoneaster, Fragaria, Malus, Prunus, Pyracantha, Rosa, Rubus. Note: Number of teeth is per leaf or leaflet, not per side of leaf or leaflet, except in Drymocallis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Daniel Potter & Barbara Ertter, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Daniel Potter, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Daniel Potter, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SanguisorbaView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb; hairs 0 or not glandular. Leaf: alternate, odd-1-pinnately compound; leaflets toothed < 1/3 to midvein. Inflorescence: spike, head-like; peduncle long; pedicel bractlets 2, subtended by 1 bract. Flower: bisexual; hypanthium urn-shaped, bractlets 0; sepals generally 4; petals 0; stamens 2--4, filaments not thread-like; pistils 1(2), ovary superior, continuous to style at top, stigma generally +- bushy, exserted. Fruit: hypanthium enclosing achene(s), 4-angled, hard. Chromosomes: 2n=28,56.
Species In Genus: 15 species: northern temperate, arctic. Etymology: (Latin: blood-absorbing, from styptic properties) Note: Other taxa in TJM (1993) moved to Poteridium, Poterium.
eFlora Treatment Author: Daniel Potter
Unabridged Reference: Nordborg 1966 Opera Bot 11:1--103
Sanguisorba officinalis L.
Habit: Rhizome thick, creeping. Stem: erect, generally 50--140 cm. Leaf: basal present at flower, largest generally 20--40 cm; leaflets 3--6 per side, largest blade 25--50 mm, ovate-oblong, stalk 3--25 mm, teeth generally > 15. Inflorescence: generally 12--20 mm, 7--10 mm wide, +- elliptic-ovoid, > 20-flowered; peduncle 3--15 cm; bract, pedicel bractlets +- 1 mm wide. Flower: sepals 2--3.5 mm, elliptic-ovate, dark +- purple. Fruit: 2.5--3.5 mm, short-winged on 2 angles, +- winged on others; faces +- smooth.
Ecology: Bogs, streams, often serpentine; Elevation: 120--1400 m. Bioregional Distribution: c NCo, nw KR, n NCoRO; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska. Flowering Time: Jun--Sep Note: Study needed to evaluate taxonomic viability of Sanguisorba officinalis subsp. microcephala (C. Presl) Calder & Roy L. Taylor.
Synonyms: Sanguisorba muricata Presl
Jepson eFlora Author: Daniel Potter
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Botanical illustration including Sanguisorba officinalis

botanical illustration including Sanguisorba officinalis


Citation for this treatment: Daniel Potter 2012, Sanguisorba officinalis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 26, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 26, 2022.

Sanguisorba officinalis
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© 2018 Barry Rice
Sanguisorba officinalis
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Sanguisorba officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Sanguisorba officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Sanguisorba officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Sanguisorba officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Sanguisorba officinalis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sanguisorba officinalis:
c NCo, nw KR, n NCoRO
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).