Achillea: Milfoil, Yarrow

Strong perennials, with predominantly yellow flowers.

The foliage is very finely incised.


Eminently suitable for the perennial border, and sometimes used in combination with other plants.

Yarrow is a sun-lover; little success will be achieved if the plant is grown in shady, damp spots.


The soil may be fairly dry and if possible should contain some lime. In a border, yarrow will thrive in nor- mally fertilised standard soil. In winter the soil must be well drained.


Garden forms by division in spring; species may also be grown from seed.

Achillea chrysocoma: 5-10 cm tall rock plant, bearing yellow flower umbels in mid to late summer.

Achillea clypeolata: Height 40-50 cm; yellow flowers in early to late summer; more tolerant of damp soil than the other species. ‘Coronation Gold’ is probably a cross be- tween other forms. Height 70-80 cm; yellow flowers from early summer to early autumn; grey-green foliage. A very popular garden variety.

Achillea filipendulina (below): Approximately 100 cm high; Achillea filipendulina flowers mid to late summer. This is the best known spe- cies, with many garden varieties, all yellow, eg ‘Golden Plate’, ‘Parker’. The flowers are very suitable for drying.

Achillea filipendulina

Achillea X kellereri: A hybrid growing to no more than 20 cm and – rather unusually – producing large white flowers from late spring to late summer. The long, narrow leaves are grey green in colour.

Achillea millefolium: 30-70 cm in height; red or rose-red flower umbels in early and mid summer. Rather limp, but because of its colour very useful in certain combinations.

‘Cerise Queen’ is one of the finest strains.

Achillea ptarmica: 70 cm high; the white flowers appear in mid to later summer; ‘Perry’s White’ is a double variety.

Mostly used in borders; unfortunately it is rather limp in habit, and should therefore be carefully staked or tied.

Achillea taygetea (below): Height about 40 cm; flowering season mid summer to early autumn with beautiful creamy- yellow umbels. Tolerates drought, but will also thrive in normal garden soil. Excellent border plant, valuable be- cause of its fairly late flowering and unique soft hue.

Achillea taygetea

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