How to Prune Small Burnet


Small burnet, or sanguisorba minor as it is known botanically, is a flowering perennial herb that grows in small rounded shrub form. It reaches 2 feet in height and spread at maturity, and thrives in arid climates and moist soil conditions. It can weather occasional drought conditions fairly well due to its significant central tap root. Small burnet flowers beginning in the early summer. Its leaves are desirable edibles for range animals and humans alike. It requires little pruning.

Step 1

Harvest the leaves of small burnet throughout the growing season for use as cooking herbs or salad greens. Snip the fresh green leaves from the stem or cut the stems and strip the leaves for use.

Step 2

Remove all dead, damaged or diseased branches, stems or foliage during the growing season. Cut back to healthy wood or simply remove the branch at the crown of the plant to preserve the mounded shape.

Step 3

Cut back or shear off all top growth that has died back over the winter in the early spring to make way for fresh growth. In warmer climates this is not required and only dead foliage should be removed.

Things You'll Need

  • Secateurs or scissors


  • Utah State University
Keywords: small burnet prune cut back, sanguisorba minor salad burnet, drought tolerant flowering perennial

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.