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Herbs, Perennials

These plants grow from creeping rhizomes. Leaves are divided featherwise into toothed, oval or roundish leaflets. Small flowers are carried in dense, feathery spikes resembling small bottlebrush (Callistemon) blossoms. Often sold as Poterium.

Sanguisorba minor

From Europe and western Asia. Can reach 1 1/2 ft. high and wide but is usually kept clipped to a few inches to maintain a fresh supply of new foliage. Leaves have a mild cucumber flavor and are used in salads, soups, and cool drinks. Can be used as edging for a border or herb garden. If not sheared too low, bears roundish, inch-long clusters of red flowers late spring to midsummer.

Sanguisorba obtusa (photo courtesy of Andrea Jones/Garden Exposures Photo Library)
Sanguisorba obtusa (photo courtesy of Andrea Jones/Garden Exposures Photo Library)

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Sanguisorba obtusa

Native to Japan. Grows to 4 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide, with grayish green leaves and pink flower spikes to 4 in. tall in summer. Evergreen in mild-winter regions.

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