Burnet Saxifrage (Pimpinella saxifraga) is also known as Solidstem Burnet Saxifrage and is a member of the Carrot Family. Burnet Saxifrage is a perennial plant that is a member of the carrot family. It has a tough, slightly ridged stem with small white flowers in levelled clusters on a singular stem from the base sheath. The basal leaves resemble those of salad burnet. It can reach a height of between 20 – 50 cm on a solitary stem that is almost grooveless.
Originally, Burnet Saxifrag’s natural habitat was coastal areas and sloping shores, or dry forests with rocky slopes. The leaves of this plant were often used in cooking where as the sharp, burning flavour of the foot was cooked up and used as a cough medicine. The plant flowers as late as September, the seeds ripen quickly before the frost sets in, although the stem stays erect to allow the seeds to be distributed by the winds.
The name of this plant, Pimpinella is believed to be traced back to the Latin for ‘Pepper’ due to its spicy / pepper tasting roots. Where as the name Saxifrage is from the word Saxifragus which means ‘Rock splitting’ , ‘growing in cracks in the stone’ or ‘ stone breaker’ , as it is believed that it is the ideal plant for breaking up / getting rid of bladder stones.