Achillea millefolium, commonly called common yarrow, is a rhizomatous, spreading, upright to mat-forming perennial that is considered by many to be an aggressive weed. Common yarrow from Europe and Asia was originally introduced to America in colonial times, and has since naturalized throughout the U. S. primarily along roadsides, fields, waste areas and lawns. These species plants are noted for producing deeply-dissected, fern-like, aromatic, medium green foliage and tiny, long-lasting, white flowers that appear in dense, flattened, compound corymbs (to 2-4” across) throughout the summer on stems typically rising 2-3’ tall. Foliage has a strong, somewhat spicy aroma that persists when used in dried arrangements. Species plants are uncommonly sold in commerce, however. It is the cultivars and hybrids of common yarrow, most of which have stronger stems, more upright habits and larger flowers, that have become popular flowering plants for ornamental gardens. Cultivars also extend the range of flower colors to include pinks, reds, creams, yellows and bicolor pastels. Plants are deer and rabbit resistant, attracts butterflies, drought resistant, fragrant foliage and flowers, and a summer bloomer. Achillea (Yarrow) are long-blooming, Old World perennials that are exceptionally easy-to-grow and provide ample nectar for butterflies.
Genus name is in reference to Achilles, hero of the Trojan Wars in Greek mythology, who used the plant medicinally to stop bleeding and to heal the wounds of his soldiers.
Specific epithet means thousand-leaved in reference to the foliage.
Common yarrow has a large number of additional common names, including milfoil, thousandleaf, soldier’s woundwort, bloodwort, nose bleed, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, old-man’s-pepper and stenchgrass.
Best grown in lean, dry to medium, well-drained sandy loams in full sun. Plants do well in average garden soils and tolerate poor soils as long as drainage is good. Plants also tolerate hot, humid summers and drought. If grown ornamentally, plants are best sited in locations protected from strong winds. Plant stems tend to flop, particularly in hot, humid climates such as St. Louis and/or if grown in moist, rich soils. Consider cutting back plant stems in late spring before flowering to reduce overall plant height. Cutting plants back to lateral flower buds after initial flowering will tidy the planting and encourage additional bloom. Plants may also be cut back to basal foliage after bloom. Divide clumps as needed (every 2-3 years) to maintain vitality of the planting. Plants spread aggressively by rhizomes and self-seeding, and can naturalize into substantial colonies if left unchecked.
Stem rot, powdery mildew and rust are occasional disease problems. Plant stems are weak and lodge easily. If grown ornamentally, plants can develop into a tangled mass of stems and foliage by mid to late summer if not cut back. Strong summer rain storms with high winds can easily flatten exposed plantings. May spread somewhat aggressively.
Cottage gardens, wild gardens, meadows, prairies and naturalized areas. Good fresh cut or dried flower.
Red Velvet Yarrow
Red Velvet is one of the best with it deep rose-red, flat-topped flower heads that hold their color. Deep green, fine textured foliage, this yarrow is sure to attract butterflies wherever it’s planted. 24-36″ tall x 24-36″ wide. An improved hybrid Yarrow, ’Red Velvet’ is one of the very best. Its deep rose-red, flat-topped flower heads are fade resistant and hold their color. With deep green, fine textured foliage, this Yarrow is sure to attract butterflies wherever it’s planted. Here’s a tough, easy-to-grow, long blooming plant for your xeriscape. Most Soil Types Including Clay. A sterile variety. Deadhead for re-bloom; Prune Basal Growth in spring.
Sunny Seduction Yarrow
‘Sunny Seduction’ is a naturally-occurring mutation of Achillea millefolium ‘Summer Pastels’ that was developed in the Netherlands by Dr. Elisabeth Sahin-Georgiadou and introduced by Blooms of Bressingham. It is part of the Seduction™ series and is sturdy and compact with a long blooming season. ‘Sunny Seduction’ has bright lemon yellow flowers that fade to pastel yellow as they age. It grows 1.5 to 2.5 ft. in height and 1 to 2 ft. in width. U.S. Plant Patent 20,808 issued March 2, 2010.
Saucy Seduction Yarrow
A beloved favorite just got better. Saucy Seduction Yarrow offers intense color on a compact plant with strong, branched stems. Its intense fuchsia pink blooms lighten to medium pink and provide gorgeous color in the garden all summer long. Butterflies love it! This easy-to-grow perennial also makes an excellent cut flower for fresh and dried floral displays. Saucy Seduction Yarrow is part of the Seduction Series known for intense color and compact habits. It’s an ideal choice for brightening cutting gardens, sunny perennial beds, prairie gardens and containers. Rabbits and deer tend to avoid.
Strawberry Seduction Yarrow
The Seduction™ Series of Yarrows were recently bred in the Netherlands. Plants are midsized and upright, with very uniform blooming over a long season. This selection has clusters of rich strawberry-red flowers, each with a tiny yellow eye. Excellent for cutting. Nice in the border and for massed planting. Deadheading faded blooms should encourage more buds to form over a long season.