Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis) Potential Occurrence: Unlikely to Occur

Дата канвертавання26.04.2016
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Magnoliopsida (Flowering Plants): Rosaceae

Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis)

Potential Occurrence: Unlikely to Occur


Federal: None

State: None

CNPS: 2.2

Photos: Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy
ther: None

Species Description: The Great Burnet grows from a thick, creeping rhizome to be between 50 and 140 cm and has alternate once pinnate leaves with 3 to 6 leaflets per side that are 25-50 mm long and ovate to oblong (Hickman 1996). The inflorescence is a 12 to 20 mm spike with more than 20 flowers (Hickman 1996). The flowers are bisexual with an urn shaped hypanthium, four elliptic to ovate dark purplish sepals, 2 to 4 stamens and a superior ovary (Hickman 1996). The fruit is composed of a hard, four angled, smooth and barely winged hypanthium enclosing achenes (Hickman 1996).

Nomenclature: Sanguisorba officinalis L. Roasceae (USDA 2010)

Synonyms: Sanguisorba muricata Presl,(Regents of the University of California 2010)

Distribution: This species is found in the northern part of the outer North Coast Ranges of California and north to Alaska at elevations between 60 and 1,400 meters (CNPS 2010; Hickman 1996)

Life History & Threats: The Great Burnet is a perennial herb and blooms from July to October (CNPS 2010; Hickman 1996). This species is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (eFloras 2008).

Habitat & Habitat Associations:

Aquatic Habitat Types: Habitat for this species is bogs and fens dominated by perennial herbs and low shrubs, seeps dominated by dense grasses, sedges, and herbs which thrive under seasonally moist to saturated conditions, and marshes and swamps dominated by emergent, suffrutescent herbs adapted to seasonally or permanently saturated soils (CNPS 2010).

Vegetation Types: Habitat for this species is open soil in broadleaved upland forest dominated by evergreen or deciduous broadleaves trees more than 5 m tall, North Coast coniferous forests dominated by needle leaved evergreen trees, riparian forests composed of broadleaved winter deciduous trees, and meadows dominated by dense grasses, sedges, and herbs, which thrive under seasonally moist to saturated conditions (CNPS 2010).

Topography and Microclimates: open soil (CNPS 2010)

Elevation: 60 to 1,400 m (CNPS 2010) (The Study Area ranges from 230 to 710 m)

Geology and Soils: Often on serpentine (CNPS 2010; Hickman 1996). This species is considered a strong indicator/broad endemic to serpentine soils with 85 to 95% of occurrences on ultramafics (Calflora 2010).

Conceptual Basis for GIS Model Development: Potential habitat in the Study Area was mapped as:

  • broadleaf upland forest (i.e. mixed, mixed montane or single dominant hardwoods with > 40% canopy cover)

  • North Coast coniferous forest dominated by needled evergreens (i.e. Redwood or Douglas fir vegetation types).

  • riparian vegetation (i.e. 130 m buffer surrounding Rancheria Creek riparian scrub and forest. Note that riparian vegetation within the Rancheria Creek is disjunct within the polygon shown)

  • seasonally moist to saturated soils in grasslands (i.e., “high” available water capacity or “poor” drainage areas in all grassland vegetation types)

The Study Areas does not contain bogs and fens, marshes or swamps. Serpentine soils, while common regionally, are not indicated by the GIS soil data as occurring in the Study Area.

Potential Occurrence in the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve:

Habitat: Great Burnet occurs on open, frequently serpentine, soil in bogs, fens and seeps in grasslands and riparian, broadleaved, and coniferous forests. Quality of potential habitat for this species is poor in the Preserve.

  • Serpentine soils, while common regionally, are not indicated by the GIS soil data as occurring in the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve. To verify the GIS information, we identified all areas (11 sites) of exposed rocky soils from high-resolution satellite imagery. During site visits to these areas, the only serpentine found were rocks exposed by road maintenance activity at a waterbar.

  • Bogs and fens are not present on the Preserve, but seeps are generally abundant and occur in many habitats.

  • Broadleaved riparian vegetation in the Preserve is restricted to the mainstem of Rancheria Creek and is extremely sparse. Riparian forest either occurs as isolated clumps of trees or thin strips along the banks of the river.

The best potential habitat for Great Burnet are springs and seeps in grasslands and upland and coniferous forest.

Nearest Occurrence:

Documented Occurrences in the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve: Previous species list for the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve did not document this species (SSU Field Station and Nature Preserves 2010).

Nearest Occurrence to the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve: Great Burnet is generally found in coastal counties of California from Mendocino County northward. This species is known from 14 occurrences in Mendocino County (Calflora 2010). The nearest occurrence is approximately 22 miles northeast of the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve in the Ukiah quad in the Upper Russian River watershed (Calflora 2010). Occurrence of this species on the Preserve would be a southern extension of its range (Calflora 2010).

Summary: We anticipate the Great Burnet to be “Unlikely to Occur” because serpentine soils do not occur on the Preserve and occurrence in the Preserve would constitute a southern range extension of 22 miles.


Calflora. 2010. Information on California plants for education, research and conservation. [web application]. . Accessed 2010 Jun 23.

California Native Plant Society (CNPS). 2010. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants. Online edition, v7-10b. . . Accessed 2010 Jun 23.

eFloras 2008. Flora of China. Published on the Internet <>. Accessed 2010 Jun 27.

Hickman JC editor. 1996. The Jepson Manual Higher Plants of California. 3rded. London: University of California Press, Ltd. 975 p.

Regents of the University of California. 2010. The Jepson Online Interchange California Floristics. . Accessed 2010 Jul 20.

SSU Field Stations and Nature Preserves. 2010. Galbreath Wildlands Preserve Vascular Plant List. . Accessed 2010 Jun.

Trnkoczy A. 2006. Sanguisorba officinalis Great Burnet.<>. Accessed 2011 May 15.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2010. PLANTS Profile. . Accessed 2010 Jul 20.

Species Account Description: Linden Schneider

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