Perennial herb from a thick short rhizome, smooth, usually glaucous; stems erect, 20 to 150 cm tall, often branched above.
Basal leaves several, 10-40 cm long, pinnately compound, with stipules fused to base of long leaf-stalks and forming membranous margins; leaflets 7 to 15, egg-shaped to lance-oblong, 1.5-4 cm long, coarsely saw-toothed, green above, paler beneath; stem leaves 1 or 2, similar but smaller and with fewer leaflets, with free leaflet-like stipules.
Inflorescence a dense, cylindric to egg-shaped, long-stalked spike, 1-3 cm long, of numerous small flowers; corollas absent; calyces reddish-purple to maroon, 4-lobed, the lobes egg-shaped, 2-3 mm long; ovaries superior; stamens 4, the filaments linear, not flattened, about the same length as the calyx-lobes.
Achenes, enclosed in the 4-angled, narrowly winged, hairy hypanthium.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|BWBS(1), CWH(177), ESSF(2), MH(15), SWB(1)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Poterium officinale (L.) A. Gray
Sanguisorba microcephala C. Presl
Sanguisorba officinalis subsp. microcephala (C. Presl) Calder & Roy L. Taylor
Sanguisorba officinalis var. polygama (W. Nyl.) Mela & A. Caj.