Achillea yarrow

Height: 10-150cm (4-60in)

Planting: distance: 25-120cm (10-48in)

Features: flowers summer

Soil: ordinary, well-drained

Site: sun

Type: herbaceous

Flat round flowerheads against an undercloth of ferny, aromatic leaves make yarrow one of the loveliest perennials. Tolerant of drought, the larger species are good border plants, while the dwarfs grow well in rockeries.

Though most species and varieties are yellow, ranging from mustard to lemon, some varieties produce white or red flowerheads.

Popular species and varieties:

Achillea clavennae f’syn. A. argentea), a dwarf species, has silvery leaves and small, white, daisy-like flowers. It has a height and spread of up to 13cm (5in). Achillea filipendalina has a height and spread of 90- 120cm (3-4ft) and compact clusters of 15cm (6in) wide lemon-yellow flowers. The leaves are grey-green. Varieties include ‘Coronation Gold’ (flat, deep yellow flowerheads) and ‘Gold Plate’ (deep yellow flowers).

Achillea x ‘King Edward’ (syn. A. lewisii) is a dwarf hybrid, 10-15cm (4-6in) high and 20cm (8 in) across. The foliage is grey-green and the buff-yellow flowerheads are up to 6cm (21.5in) wide.

Achillea millefolium has deep green leaves and flat 10cm (4in) wide heads of tiny white to cerise flowers. It grows to 60-75cm (2-2.5 ft). Varieties include ‘Cerise Queen’ (intense cherry-red, white-centred flowers) and a range of hybrids called Summer Pastels.

Achillea ptarmica ‘Boule de Neige’

Achillea filipendiilina ‘Gold Plate’

Achillea x ‘King Edward

Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Kelmscott’

Achillea ptarmica (sneezewort) spreads rapidly. Ir carries 5-10cm (2-4in) wide clusters of loose, daisy-like, white flowers and has narrow, tapering, toothed mid-green leaves. It grows to 75cm (2.5 ft) high and has a spread of 38cm (15in). A popular variety is ‘Boule de Neige’ (’Snowball’), which is up to 40cm (16in) tall with pure white double flowers.

Achillea ‘Taygetca’ has flat, pale yellow flowcrheads set against silvergrey foliage. It stands 45cm (1 /4ft) high and has a spread of 15cm (6in).

‘Moonshine’ is a hybrid with even paler flowers and grows to 60cm (2ft). Achillea tomentosa, useful for ground cover, reaches up to 23cm (9in) high with a 30cm (1 ft) spread. The downy grey-green leaves are long and narrow and the dense, bright yellow flowerheads are 7.5cm (3in) wide.

Cultivation

Plant between autumn and.early spring in any well-drained garden soil in a sunny site.

Propagation: In early spring divide the roots into portions with four or five young shoots and replant.

Pests and diseases: Trouble free.

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