Family: Asteraceae
Common Name: Yarrow, milfoil

Native to Europe, North America and Asia, this hardy, pungently aromatic perennial has fern-like foliage and rounded, flat heads of tiny, tightly packed blooms ranging in color from bright yellow to white, pink, salmon and cerise. Achilleas are useful for borders and rockeries, and make good cut flowers.


A. ageratifolia has tufted, silvery gray foliage and white flowers. Growing to 15-20 cm (6-8 in) high, it is ideal for rockeries.

A. chrysocoma has mats of green leaves and heads of densely packed yellow flowers.

A. filipendulina, fern-leaf yarrow, has impressive plate-like, golden yellow flower heads, 7-10 cm (3-4 in) in diameter, on long, stiff stems. If cut in early summer and hung head down in a cool, dry place, the flowers will retain their bright colour and can therefore he used for dried floral arrangements. They grow to 1.5 m (5 ft).

A. millefolium, common yarrow, with round flat heads of white flowers, is classed as a weed in the US. Many pretty cultivars are available. These cultivars are not as invasive as the species.

A. ptarmica, with white flowers and light foliage, grows to 60 cm (24 in). Cultivar The Pearl' has double flowers.

A. tomentosa has finely serrated mat-like foliage, yellow flowers, and grows to 24 cm (10 in). 'Aurea' has woolly, fern-like foliage and flat heads of darker yellow flowers. It grows to 15 cm (6 in).


Achilleas will grow in any soil, but do best in sunny, well-drained positions in temperate Climates. Although they are sun loving, they will flower quite well in semi-shade. Divide plants in autumn or early spring. Cut back old growth in winter to encourage fresh young spring growth.


Zone 6 and above.

Acer      Achimenes