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a genus of plants of the family Rosaceae. Members are perennial herbs and very rarely semishrubs and shrubs with pinnate leaves. The blossoms are small and arranged in a dense capitate or spike-shaped inflorescence; the perianth consists of four sepals; the fruit is nutlike. There are approximately 30 species in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere.

There are ten to 12 species in the USSR. Sanguisorba officinalis (greater salad burnet), a plant reaching 100 cm, with a purple inflorescence, is widely distributed. It grows along meadows, thickets, and forest borders. The rootstocks and roots contain tannins and other substances. Infusions and a liquid extract (with 70 percent alcohol) of the rootstock and roots are used as astringent and hemostatic agents in cases of diarrhea, hemoptysis, and (sometimes) uterine hemorrhages. Greater salad burnet is a fodder plant.

Some species of Sanguisorba are cultivated as ornamentals. A number of its species are sometimes assigned to the genus Poterium. Poterium polygamum, also called sheep’s grass in Russian, grows in the southern European USSR and in the Caucasus; it is sometimes cultivated as a pasture and hay plant.


Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.