Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) in the Yarrows Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Yarrow
Give a thumbs up Common Yarrow
Give a thumbs up Milfoil
Give a thumbs up Western Yarrow
Give a thumbs up Soldier's Woundwort
Give a thumbs up Thousandleaf
Give a thumbs up Sanguinary
Give a thumbs up Staunchweed
Give a thumbs up Nosebleed Plant

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Leaves: Semi-evergreen
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Uses: Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Medicinal Herb
Cut Flower
Dried Flower
Will Naturalize
Dynamic Accumulator: P (Phosphorus)
K (Potassium)
Fe (Iron)
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Sow in situ
Other info: This plant self seeds.
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Stolons and runners
Other: Underground rhizomes
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


The Wonderful YarrowThe Wonderful Yarrow
November 17, 2014

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, has been known and loved for thousands of years, and in fact, its name came from the Greek hero, Achilles.

(Full article12 comments)
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Posted by Sharon (Calvert City, KY - Zone 7a) on Dec 3, 2011 1:44 AM

Since at least the time of the ancients, yarrow has been used to treat cuts, wounds, burns and bruises. It is one of a handful of plants called allheal in the English herbal tradition. It was considered the 'life medicine' by the Navajos.

An infusion of the leaves and flower tops is drunk to reduce fever and as a tonic to stimulate appetite. A poultice made from the whole plant or a powder made up of the dried tops is applied to cuts and wounds. It seems to be accepted by scientific research as acceptable in these uses, particularly as an astringent.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 28, 2012 10:02 AM

This is a low-growing perennial with beautiful fern-like foliage. Flat-topped clusters of flowers rise 6 inches to 2&1/2 feet above the foliage sporadically from late May to frost. These flowers are excellent cut, either fresh or dry. Because of its graceful and nearly evergreen foliage, Yarrow makes a good texture plant for the front of the perennial garden, and it is a staple in meadows. It requires full sun and tolerates drought well. Given fertile soil, Yarrow will spread rapidly. Keep it in check by annually spading out the wanderers.

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Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 22, 2012 1:20 PM

Honey bees get nectar from this plant.

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Posted by Bonehead (PNW - Zone 8b) on Nov 27, 2013 11:38 AM

Native in the Pacific Northwest, found along roadsides and in meadows. The native form is a rather dullish white.

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Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 8, 2014 2:23 PM

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a larval host plant for the Painted Lady butterfly. It also has special value to native bees, and supports conservation biological control by attracting beneficial insects to the garden, including lacewings, hoverflies, parasitic mini-wasps, and ladybugs. These beneficial insects feed on a variety of common garden pests.

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Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Apr 17, 2015 9:42 PM

The book, "How to Know the Wildflowers" (1922) by Mrs William Starr Dana gives us many uses of this plant from all over Europe. She gives the common names of "Common Yarrow" and "Milfoil". As you can probably tell from the genus name, tradition claims that it was used by Achilles to cure the wounds of his soldiers. As of the book's publishing in 1922, the author says the plant still formed one of the ingredients of an ointment valued by the Scotch Highlanders. Early English botanists called the plant "nose-bleed" because if you put the leaves in your nose it would cause it to bleed. She quotes another writer, Gerarde, as saying men would chew the leaves (especially green) to cure a toothache. The pungent leaves also earned it the name "Old Man's Pepper". In Sweden, its name means "field hop" and refers to its use in manufacturing beer. Linnaeus considered the beer thus brewed to be more intoxicating than beer brewed with hops. The old women of the Orkney Islands believed "milfoil tea" had the power to dispel melancholy. In Switzerland, a good vinegar was said to be made from the alpine species.

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