Pimpinella major

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

Pimpinella major, common name greater burnet-saxifrage[1] or hollowstem burnet saxifrage,[2] 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


Pimpinella 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.


Pimpinellla 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.[3]



  1. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  2. ^ "Pimpinella major". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  3. ^ Vogl, S; Picker, P; Mihaly-Bison, J; Fakhrudin, N; Atanasov, AG; Heiss, EH; Wawrosch, C; Reznicek, G; Dirsch, VM; Saukel, J; Kopp, B (2013). "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. 149: 750–71. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. PMC 3791396. PMID 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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