The Achillea Genus (Yarrow)

Achillea, also known as yarrow, is a genus made up of over 100 different flowering plants in the sunflower plant family, Asteraceae. 

These plants hail from North America, parts of Europe, and Asia. 

Achillea At A Glance

This genus consists of herbaceous perennial plants, all of which are fragrant and fairly hardy.

You can recognize them by their feathery, silvery leaves, and large, flat flower heads, made up of tiny individual flowers in vivid color. 

They also have a lot of fragrance, making them popular with gardeners across the world.

They have plenty of ornamental value, adding height and bright colors into any garden, whether you want to plant them in containers, as border plants, as part of a mixed bed, or maybe you prefer them in a naturalized planting scheme.

Achillea Name Origin

The genus name is derived from the hero in Greek myth, Achilles.

Within the stories, his soldiers would pick yarrow and apply them to wounds to help them heal faster. 

The common name, yarrow, tends to apply to Achillea millefolium, but it’s also used interchangeably for any plant belonging to this genus. 

You may also know Achillea as allheal or bloodwort, referring to its medical properties.

Yarrow Flower Symbolism

Yarrow signifies luck, abundance, fortune, protection, healing, and victory.

Yarrow Uses

This plant is grown across so many countries for its medicinal properties over the years, that it can be difficult to say exactly where it originated from.

It has applications in Ancient Greek medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, and Native American medicine, among others.

The leaves are used to stop wounds from bleeding, and thanks to the plant’s antibiotic properties, it also helps prevent infection.

This is potentially where its ritual and religious usage stems from, too, as the plant is thought to help ward off evil and demons, and has been employed in many religious ceremonies. 

The foliage and flowers can be made into a tea, which can help treat the symptoms of colds, and to ease a poor mood.

Achillea Growing Requirements

These perennials are hardy in USDA zones 3 through to 9, and flower in spring and summer, sometimes into fall, depending on when they are planted or sown.

Depending on the species, yarrow can get as large as 3 feet tall.

Give achillea well-draining soil and full sunlight, and you’ll see it popping back up every year, in different places within your garden.

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