Pimpinella major

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Pimpinella major
Apiaceae - Pimpinella major-1.JPG
Inflorescence of Pimpinella major, lateral view
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Pimpinella
Species: P. major
Binomial name
Pimpinella major(L.) Huds.
  • Pimpinella magna L.,
  • Pimpinella saxifraga L. var. major L.
  • Pimpinella major subsp. sambucifolia S.E. Fröhner

Pimpinella major, common name greater burnet-saxifrage or hollowstem burnet saxifrage, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the genus Pimpinella belonging to the carrot family (Apiaceae).


Pimpinella major reaches on average 30–100 cm (10–40 in) in height. The stem is hollow, deeply grooved, mostly glabrous, and generally branched and leafy.

The leaves are dark green, slightly glossy, ovate or oblong, short-stalked, feathery, more or less deeply cut, and usually pointed. Basal leaves have a petiole 20–60 cm (8–20 in) long.

The inflorescence has a diameter of 50–60 mm (2.0–2.4 in). The flowers, usually hermaphrodite, range from white to glowing rose or soft-pink and are gathered in umbels with 11 to 16 stalks.

The flowering period extends from June to August in its native habitat. The fruits are ovoid, 2–3 mm (0.08–0.1 in) long.


  • Pimpinella major (L.) Huds. var. rubra Hoppe. ex Mérat

Also known as big red burnet, it is characterized by low growth and intense rose-colored petals. The stem is usually branched at the base, the branches are short and generally carry only one umbel.

  • P. m. var. rosea Lindeman
  • P. m. var. macrodonta (Pau) O. Bolòs & Vigo
  • P. m. var. orientalis (Gouam) Fi. et Paol.
  • P. m. var. dissecta (Sprengel) Fi. et Paol.
  • P. m. var. bipinnata G. Beck


P. major is widespread in central Europe and in the Caucasus and it is naturalized in North America.


It grows in burned forests, clearings, herb-rich areas, meadows, waysides, and wooded pastures. It prefers nutrient-rich substrate and chalk and limestone soils, at an altitude of 0–2,300 m (0–7,546 ft) above sea level.


P. major roots have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally (directly or as tea, in milk, or liqueurs) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, fever, infections, colds, and flu.[1]



  1. ^ Vogl S, Picker P, Mihaly-Bison J, Fakhrudin N, Atanasov AG, Heiss EH, Wawrosch C, Reznicek G, Dirsch VM, Saukel J, Kopp B. Ethnopharmacological in vitro studies on Austria's folk medicine - An unexplored lore in vitro anti-inflammatory activities of 71 Austrian traditional herbal drugs. J Ethnopharmacol.2013 Jun13. doi:pii: S0378-8741(13)00410-8. 10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID 23770053. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23770053
  • Pignatti S. - Flora d'Italia - Edagricole – 1982 – Vil. II, pag. 190
  • Tutin, T.G. et al. - Flora Europaea, second edition - 1993

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