Family: Milfoil, Yarrow, Sneezeweed, ASTERACEAE
Named for Achilles, a hero of the Greeks, who used the plant medicinally, the popular Yarrows are among the most trouble-free of perennials. They’ll grow in any moderately fertile soil, so long as it is fast-draining. Propagate them from winter divisions, or from seed, which germinates in days.
Achilleas need only full sun and occasional water to help them produce masses of bloom in the summer border. Leaves of all species are lacy and finely divided; and available flower colours include white, yellow, pink and red. The genus includes dainty dwarf plants and tall perennials ranging 50-150cm/20-60in.
Plant at intervals of 36-60cm/1-2ft and water lightly. They are fairly drought resistant, produce masses of dull, fern-like foliage with minimum water. Several bloomings can be expected each summer when you cut flower stems. Achillea filipendulina produces flat heads of tiny gold flowers.
Achillea filipendulina Goldplate yarrow
Achillea millefolium is deep pink, centred white. Achillea ptarmica (Sneezeweed) blooms greenish-white. Cut all species back almost to ground level in winter, give complete fertilizer in spring.