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Common Yarrow
Achillea millefolium
About Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) Nurseries Show All Photos Achillea millefolium or yarrow (other common names common yarrow, gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man's pepper, devil's nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier's woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal) is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to the Northern Hemisphere. In Spanish-speaking New Mexico and southern Colorado, it is called plumajillo, or "little feather," for the shape of the leaves. In antiquity, yarrow was known as herbal militaris, for its use in staunching the flow of blood from wounds. Native Americans had many uses for the plant, including pain relief, fever reduction, and blood issues of all kinds. Yarrow grows up to 3500 meters above sea level. The plant commonly flowers from May through June, and is a frequent component in butterfly gardens. Common yarrow is frequently found in the mildly disturbed soil of grasslands and open forests. Active growth occurs in the spring.

This plant is extremely easy to grow, but looks best with regular water. It easily reseeds though it can be aggressive.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1 - 3 ft (0.3 - 0.9 m)

Max. Width
.5 - 1.5 ft (0.2 - 0.5 m)

Upright, Spreading

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate
Fast, Moderate

Evergreen, Summer Deciduous, Summer Semi-Deciduous


Flower Color
White, Yellow

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
meadow; disturbed places

Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Elevation ?
-36' - 12005'

Annual Precip. ?
5.9" - 154.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 5.70"

Coldest Month ?
18.6° F - 57.3° F

Hottest Month ?
40.5° F - 80.3° F

Humidity ?
0.02 vpd - 29.10 vpd

Soil Description
Nearly any type except very wet. Because of its deep roots it has been used to control erosion.

Soil Texture
Sandy Clay, Sandy Loam

Soil PH
4 - 8

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -10 - -15° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17*, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Companion Plants
Wildlife Attracted
carnivorous insects; butterflies; bees

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Very Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month, 2x/month, 3x/month, 1/week
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Benefits from division every other year

Propagation ?
Spreads by rhizomes. Plant seed in warm soil, max 1/4 inch under so sun can get to it. Can become invasive..  For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Groundcovers, Bird Gardens, Deer Resistant, Bee Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Achillea puberula,Achillea borealis

Common Names
Bloodwort, Carpenter's Weed, Devil's Nettle, Gordaldo, Hierba De Las Cortaduras, Milfoil, Nosebleed Plant, Old Man's Pepper, Plumajillo, Sanguinary, Soldier's Woundwort, Thousand-leaf, Thousand-seal

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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