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Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow)
Page, Lee

Achillea millefolium

Achillea millefolium L.

Common Yarrow, Western Yarrow, Yarrow, Milfoil

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: ACMI2

USDA Native Status: L48 (NI), AK (N), HI (I), CAN (NI), GL (N), SPM (NI)

This species includes botanical varieties that are North American natives. However, it also includes botanical varieties that are not native to North America, e.g. Achillea millefolium var. millefolium, Common Yarrow. Non-native taxa are not treated in this database.

Yarrow grows to 3 feet tall and has no branches except near the top. The leaves are alternate, 3-5 inches long, with many leaflets on each side of the midrib (1- pinnately lobed); and these are further divided into smaller leaflets, giving them a delicate, fernlike, lacy appearance. Flower heads are arranged in large, compact clusters at the top of the stem, each cluster consisting of 1 or more flower heads. The flower head has 20-25 yellowish-white (rarely pink) ray flowers and similarly colored disc flowers.

Achillea millefolium is highly variable and has been treated both as a single species with varieties and as multiple distinct species. A. millefolium is cosmopolitan throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In North America, A. millefolium is a complex of both native and introduced plants and their hybrids.


From the Image Gallery

57 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Inflorescence: Head
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Flowering late Apr to early Jul (South), mid Jul to mid Sep (North).


USA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , NU , ON , PE , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Most of temperate North America.
Native Habitat: Common on disturbed soils throughout Texas.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Drought Tolerance: High


Use Ornamental: This is a good garden plant, as it can be used in fresh or dried arrangements and has a pleasing fragrance. Flat-topped clusters of small, whitish flowers grow at the top of a gray-green, leafy, usually hair, stem.
Use Medicinal: Yarrow was formerly used for medicinal purposes: to break a fever by increasing perspiration, to treat hemorrhaging and as a poultice for rashes. A tea used by Native Americans to cure stomach disorders was made by steeping the leaves.
Use Other: The foliage has a pleasant smell when crushed.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: Light tan at maturity, seeds mature in late summer and early fall. Collect entire inflorescence and dry before cleaning.
Seed Treatment: Direct seeding.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native plants to stabilize a steep bank in Pennsylvania
April 23, 2008
I would like to use native plantings to stabilize a steep bank of a septic leach field in eastern Pennsylvania. My purpose is to control erosion and to eliminate the need for mowing. What would you r...
view the full question and answer

Native host plants for Painted Lady Butterfly
June 01, 2006
I am looking for host plants for the Painted Lady Butterfly that I can plant in my school's (I am a teacher) native plant/butterfly garden. As part of the curriculum, each spring the 1st grade raises...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Naval Air Station Kingsville - Kingsville, TX
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
Texas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter - Bastrop, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Research Literature

Reslit 141 - Review on ecology and control of Achillea millefolium L. (yarrow) on arable land in New Zealand (1988) G. W. Bourdot and R. J. Field
Reslit 142 - The Response of Achillea millefolium L. (Yarrow) to Shading (1984) G. W. Bourdot, D. J. Saville and R. J. Field
Reslit 102 - Age of maturity and life span in herbaceous, polycarpic perennials (2000) M. H. Bender, J. M. Baskin and C. C. Baskin
Reslit 140 - Regeneration of yarrow (Achillea millefolium L) rhizome fragments of different length from various depths in the soil (1984) G. W. Bourdot
Reslit 64 - Soil seed bank composition along a gradient from dry alvar grassland to Juniperus shrubland (1996) J. P. Bakker, E. S. Bakker, E. Rosen, G. L. Verwei...
Reslit 48 - Field studies of Achillea as a cut flower - longevity, spacing, and cultivar response (1992) A. M. Armitage
Reslit 363 - Dry grassland plant diversity conservation using low-intensity sheep and goat grazing management: case study in Prague (Czech Republic) (2008) J. Dostalek and T. Frantik
Reslit 273 - Comparison of potential non-timber forest products in intensively managed young stands and mature/old-growth forests in south-central British Columbia (2008) A. J. Clason, P. M. F. Lindgren and T. P. Sullivan
Reslit 627 - Comparative Responses of Achillea millefolium Ecotypes to Competition and Soil Type (1987) S. S. Higgins and R. N. Mack
Reslit 687 - Effects of density on above and below ground biomass of the native alpine grass Poa fawcettiae and the environmental weed Achillea millefolium (2007) F. M. Johnston and C. M. Pickering

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1985 VOL. 2, NO.2 - Guide to Black-Eyed Susan, Parkways, Wildflowers for the East, Arboretum Mall to...
Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.4 - Research Update, Wild-Collecting Endangers Natives, Director's Report, Maryland ...
Wildflower Newsletter 1993 VOL. 10, NO.6 - Saving Trees and Plants at New Center Site a Big Job, Director's Report, Wildflo...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Achillea millefolium in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Achillea millefolium in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Achillea millefolium


Record Modified: 2022-07-08
Research By: TWC Staff

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