- Also known as Milfoil or Yarrow
1 to 2 feet.
Flowers multiple colours, June to September.
There are several varieties – such as Eupatorium,
Mongolica, rupestris and tomentosa – relations
of the common Yarrow of British lawns, which are
rather of the “interesting” than the
merely beautiful sort.
One variety, Ptarmica plena, in the “improved”
strain named “The Pearl,” should be
grown for its abundance of smallish double white
flowers produced all through the summer, and particularly
good for cutting for the house.
Plants should be obtained in February for choice;
it is a good doer, and is not very particular
as to soil.
May be raised from seed sown in May or June, and
afforded a little extra care in the way of shade
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: June to September
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Cultivar Garden Varieties
Cloth of Gold
This is one of the biggest achilleas, with flat, plate-like heads of deep yellow flowers held high on tall stems, with ferny foliage beneath. This achillea is long-lasting, and drought-tolerant, but needs a lot of space to spread out. Try it in a sunny spot at the back of a herbaceous border, or among grasses, but be sure to stake it, as it tends to flop over in wet weather. It makes an excellent cut flower.
Buy Achillea filipendulina 'Cloth of Gold'
This yarrow has bright, magenta flowers, is long flowering, and drought-tolerant. Try it in a sunny spot towards the back of an herbaceous border, or among grasses, but be sure to stake it, as it tends to flop over in wet weather. It makes an excellent cut flower.
Buy Achillea millefolium 'Cerise Queen'
Upright stems are clothed with finely cut foliage and in summer are topped with flattened clusters of small, flower-heads, which fade from yellow to cream as they age. Wonderful in a sunny spot with moist but well-drained soil.
Buy Achillea 'Credo'
This yarrow produces a profusion of rosy lilac flowers which fade slightly with age to a lavender pink. Best in full sun in the middle rank of the border where it will associate well with the dark spires of Salvia nemerosa and any of the Nepta family. Achilleas will attract many beneficial insects, including bees, butterflies and hoverflies to the garden.
Buy Achillea millefolium 'Lilac Beauty'
Pomegranate' (Tutti Frutti Series)
Noted for its uniform and prolonged flowering period, this bushy yarrow will certainly liven things up in a sunny border. Unlike many of the others, it holds its flower colour well, and as it is relatively compact, it is also excellent in pots. Perfect too for the wildlife garden, as it will attract many beneficial insects, including bees, butterflies and hoverflies.
Buy Achillea millefolium 'Pomegranate' (Tutti Frutti Series)
The flattened, rosy-red flowerheads are held on upright stems above the aromatic fern-like foliage throughout summer. This cultivar is said to have a good resistance to colour fade. Best in full sun in the middle rank of the border.
Buy Achillea millefolium 'Red Velvet'
This one has large, flat clusters of canary-yellow flowers, and is more resistant to flopping over than most other achilleas. It is long flowering, and drought-tolerant. Try it in a sunny spot towards the back of an herbaceous border, in a border of 'hot' colours or among grasses. It makes an excellent cut flower.
Buy Achillea 'Moonshine'
Ptarmica (The Pearl Group)
Elegant sprays of pure white, double and semi-double pom-pom flowers are borne over a long period from June to August above finely toothed, dark green leaves. This achillea is vigourous and spreads to form a natural mound. A favourite of Edwardian garden designer Gertrude Jeykll, it is excellent for the middle of a sunny, well-drained border, and looks great with a backdrop of evergreens. It is long flowering and drought-tolerant.
Buy Achillea ptarmica (The Pearl Group)
One of the smallest of the achilleas, this grows to only 60cm so is perfect for the front of the border. The flowers come in flattened clusters from 5 - 10cm across and are a pale creamy-yellow. They are produced in mid and late summer and are held on gently branching stems above the greyish-green leaves.
Buy Achillea 'Taygetea'
This yarrow has has masses of rich, terracotta flowers that fade to soft yellow in autumn. It is long flowering and drought-tolerant. Try it in a sunny spot towards the back of an herbaceous border, in a border of hot colours or among grasses. The flowerheads contrast well with the spire-like and spiky flowers of salvia, veronicastrum and eryngium (sea holly). It also makes an excellent cut flower!
Buy Achillea 'Terracotta'
This multi colour yarrow has clusters of blooms in a lovely combination of yellow, orange and pinky-red. The ferny grey-green foliage forms a low mound. Great for cutting and drying.
Buy Achillea 'Tri-colour'
This achillea has masses of tiny, orange-red flowers with yellow centres, aging to creamy yellow, and is more resistant to flopping over in wet weather than most other achilleas. It is long flowering, and drought-tolerant.
Buy Achillea 'Walther Funcke'
This hybrid which is named after and has the same colour as the sandstone found beside the German Wesser river. The pinky-red flowers emerge from bud and age to a light dusty rose or even cream. It is a shorter variety, that has a long flowering period, and this can be extended even further by removing the faded blooms.
Buy Achillea 'Wesersandstein'