What’s Doing the Blooming? Yarrow

Yarrow milleflium 'Pretty Belinda'
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium ‘Pretty Belinda’

‘Pretty Belinda’, ‘Moonshine’, ‘Terra Cotta’, and ‘Strawberry Seduction’... With names as fanciful as these you may not expect me to bring up “native roots”. Yarrow is native all over North America and shows it’s resilience and tolerance for soils and growing conditions by it’s ability to thrive in ditches, in gravel pits and in sunny pastures and meadows.

Yarrow Achillea 'Moonshine'
Yarrow Achillea ‘Moonshine’

The cultivars we provide are different in their vibrant colors and fun names but their “roots” are what I consider to be very native and very hardy! Yarrow is a perfect selection for those tough areas where the sun is hot and the soil well drained. They lend themselves beautifully to cottage and prairie gardens and are lovely planted en masse with their colors mixed. Their large clusters of delicate flowers are held high above ferny foliage on strong stems; creating brightly colored and long lasting landing pads for butterflies to frequent.

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium 'Terra Cotta'
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium ‘Terra Cotta’

The foliage and stems are strongly fragrant when disturbed or crushed, making them resistant to deer and rabbit graze. Some say yarrow deters mosquitoes – I have not tested this theory myself.  I have, however, tried and enjoyed them as cut flowers in both fresh bouquets and dried arrangements.  They are long lasting and easy to work with on both of those counts. Occasional deadheading will keep them blooming throughout the summer months and keep them looking clean and fresh.

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium 'Strawberry Seduction'
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium ‘Strawberry Seduction’

Their mature height will vary by variety and also by soil quality. Most will top out around 2′ tall creating clumps from 24-36” wide.