Sanguisorba officinalis 'Lemon Splash' 

Lemon Splash burnet    Perennial of the Month-- May 2014 Perry caricature

 (pronunciation at link)  (sang-wi-sore' bah  o-fish-eh-nale' iss)

Common name:  Lemon Splash Japanese burnet

Family:  Roseaceae, rose

Height x width: 24-36in. x 24in.

Growth rate, habit: moderate, upright

Foliage: lemon yellow small dots or splashes of color on narrow, oblong  leaflets with serrated edges; up to 25 leaflets on pinnately-divided leaves, opposite stem spacing; basal leaves longest

Flowers:  blood-red maroon, bottlebrush-shaped (or like mini corn cobs) flowers to one-inch long,  late summer held just above the leaves; long blooming 4 weeks usual, up to 6 weeks

Hardiness: USDA zones 4a-8b (average minimum -20 to -30F)

Soil:  slightly moist to wet preferred, tolerates average

Light:  sun, tolerates part shade

Pests and problems:  none significant except deer, some burnets are grown for deer forage food

Landscape habit, uses:  borders, large rock gardens, cutting, butterflies; combines well with bellflowers, bluestars, ornamental grasses, ferns, monkshood, purple-leaved sedum

Other interest: genus names from latin for blood (sanguis) and to soak up (sorbeo) referring to its past medicinal use to prevent bleeding; species native to northern temperate regions, this later blooming selection likely from east Asia; species often used as edible plant, leaves to flavor salads

Other culture:  remove any green shoots ("sports" or reversions) that appear to maintain variegation overall; easy care 

Propagation:  spring division

Sources:  many online and local specialty nurseries



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