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Still relatively obscure these hardy, clump forming perennials deserve wider use. They provide flowers from late spring till autumn and have an airy appearance thanks to their wiry stems.

Native to areas around much of the northern hemisphere from the UK throughout Europe and Asia as far as Japan.  Sanguisorba have been little used in gardens until the last 20 years or so.  They have been popularised by the introduction of the dwarf Sanguisorba 'Tanna' and some of the taller varieties such as Sanguisorba 'Pink Elephant and 'Arnhem' that have been widely used in naturalistic planting schemes by the likes of Dutchman Piet Oudolf.

The majority of Sanguisorba are hardy herbaceous clump formers, with heights ranging from 30cm to over 2m.  Most have strong wiry flowering stems that hold up well throught the season, though some do flop a bit.  The attractive pinnate foliage makes a good contrast with grassy leaves as well as broader leaves and the flowers mix very well with traditional herbaceous borders as well as the more modern naturalistic styles.

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Sanguisorba armena

Sanguisorba armena£7.50

Attractive clumps of grey-green foliage like a totally hardy Melianthus major! Upright stems topped with nodding heads of white and pink flowers in summer to 1.2m. Good soil in sun.

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Sanguisorba officinalis 'Pink Tanna'

Sanguisorba officinalis 'Pink Tanna'£4.00

One of the first offspring from 'Tanna', this is much taller at about 1.2m. Clumps of divided foliage and wiry stems topped wtih lots of nodding pink flowers in summer. Good soil in sun.

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Sanguisorba tenuifolia var. alba 'Korean Snow'

Sanguisorba tenuifolia var. alba 'Korean Snow'£5.00

An excellent tall, elegant form collected in Korea. Snowy white caterpiller-like flowers on wiry stems to 1.5m. Best in good soil in full sun.

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