All About Yarrow

Yarrow is one of the best drought-tolerant perennials that is also heat and wind tolerant. When the heat kicks in, these babies hold their own and still look beautiful.

Yarrow is an herbaceous perennial that stands erect with clusters of small flowers at the top of the stem. It has a strong, aromatic smell similar to the mum. The leaves are fern-like and some hybrids can be fuzzy. There are many hybrids and color ranges available from yellow to red. It is found in every region of the United States and you will often find it growing wild in fields and along highways. After the flowers are spent, shear back the plant to rejuvenate the foliage and encourage re-bloom. Depending on the hybrid, yarrow can be invasive, so be sure to give it plenty of room to grow so it won’t crowd out other plants.

Medicinal Purposes
Yarrow is used as an astringent, diaphoretic, tonic, stimulant, or aroma.

The astringent effect makes it a prime plant to treat inflammations, such as headaches. Native Americans chewed yarrow to ease toothaches and for headaches, they inhaled it in steam.

As a tea, it is a good remedy for colds and flu, especially when used at the first sign of a cold. To make the tea, use 1 oz. of the dried herb to a pint of boiling water. Let steep 10 minutes and drink. If desired, add sugar or honey to sweeten.

The flowering tops have the most medicinal value, however, the leaves encourage clotting, so it is known to be useful for nosebleeds.

Urban Legend
According to the Iliad, the centaur Chiron taught Achilles how to use yarrow to treat wounds on the battle fields of Troy to stop the soldiers’ bleeding, thus the other yarrow nicknames Allheal, Nosebleed, and Bloodwort.

Companion Plants
Yarrow helps repel some bad insects while attracting good ones, such as wasps and Syphid flies. It attracts birds who use the yarrow to line their nests. When grown near other plants, it is considered beneficial in improving a sick plant’s health.

Common Name: Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Milfoil, Allheal, Nosebleed
Genus: Achillea (ak-ih-LEE-a)
Species: A. millefolium (mill-ee-FOH-lee-um)
Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee)
Category: Herbaceous, Perennial
Foliage: Green, ferny
12-18 inches (45-60 cm)
24-36 inches (60-90 cm)
Spacing (it spreads, so give it plenty of room):
12-18 inches (45-60 cm)
24-36 inches (60-90 cm)
Hardiness: USDA 3a to 9b
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Bloom Color: White, orange, yellow, pink, or red
Bloom Time:
Late spring/Early Summer
Soil pH Requirements: 5.6 to 7.5
Soil Type: Grows well in any well-drained soil
Water: Drought tolerant
Propagation Method: Divide rootball. From seed, sow indoors before last frost or direct sow after last frost.
Other: Attracts bees, butterflies and birds. Deer resistant. Can be weedy or invasive.

About Jen

Jen is owner, author, and creative mind behind Bakerette. Jen eats a vegan diet and recently converted Bakerette to a plant-based website that offers a smattering of healthful recipes! Jen is author of the cookbook Festive Feasts: Meals and Memories from Halloween to Christmas, which can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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