Characteristics and care of Sanguisorba minor or Herb of the knife

Sanguisorba minor also known as Pimpernel minor, Herb of the hammers, Sanguinaria, Herb cutter or Herb of the knife . It belongs to the Rosaceae family, being native to Europe.

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The name of the genus derives from the Latin “sanguis” which means blood, due to its ability to stop bleeding.

The epithet “minor” comes from the Latin that refers to its size.

Sanguisorba minor characteristics

Biennial or almost perennial plant , creeping, with prostrate, branched, bare or leafy stems.

The leaves are sessile, opposite and triangular in section. It has leaflets generally petiole, orbicular or ovate, with creneal edges, slightly discolored, with single-celled hairs. It is found grouped in rounded glomeruli in the upper part of the stem.

The flowers are small, greenish or tinged red, with numerous stamens, first erect and then converging.

The filiform filaments and the tricolporated or hexacolporated pollen. The styles are terminal and the stigmas are peltate or fimbrate, covered with papillae.

The fruit is an indehiscent, dry, woody, irregularly crested and reticulated carous, usually edible, of several seeds.

Sanguisorba minor care

It grows in meadows, wet grasslands and on roadsides. It is used to vegetate dry and steep slopes in coastal areas.

It is a plant that requires full sun so that it can develop optimally. As for the temperature, it is capable of resisting about -6˚C.

It tolerates alkaline soils, being able to grow in poor and dry soils, which is why it is considered an easily cultivated specimen.

Watering should be moderate. Although it is worth mentioning that it resists drought very well.

The compost should be enough to allow it to flower vigorously. But it is not at all picky about the fertilizer.

It is multiplied by cuttings, at any time of the year.


The young leaves are used as part of salads, sauces, soups and other stews. It has an aroma similar to walnuts and a taste similar to cucumber.

With the roots an infusion is made to relieve throat irritations. Even topically it is used to accelerate wound healing.

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