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Common yarrow

Yarrow in the late stage of flowering.

Common yarrow is a strongly aromatic, spreading perennial for hot, dry sites. Numerous, small white flowers are borne in terminal dense clusters blooming in mid-to -late summer above the fern-like, small, gray-green leaves.

Botanical name:

Achillea millefolium

All common names:

Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Milifoil, Thousand-seal,

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Perennial

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Container,
  • Foundation,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border

Size Range:

  • Large plant (more than 24 inches),
  • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil

Seasons of Interest:

  • midsummer,
  • late summer

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:


An upright, erect plant growing 1 to 2 feet high.
Foliage is often mat-like to erect and spreading.

Plant Care

Best in full sun in hot dry site.
Does require well drained soil in acid to alkaline soil pH.
Tends to be floppy and may require staking.
Some yarrow can become weedy and aggressive by spreading rapidly from invasive rhizomes.
Deadhead early to promote longer blooming period and prevents seedlings.
Foliage can be cut to ground mid-spring to produce shorter, stockier stems.
Leave basal foliage over winter to provide protection,  cut back in spring.

Disease, pests, and problems

Powdery mildew, stem rot in wet sites.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Deer resistant, drought tolerant

Attracts birds or pollinators

Beneficial to bees, butterflies, and several other pollinators.
Birds use leaves to line nests.

Native geographic location and habitat

Europe, Western Asia, and introduced to North America

Leaf description

Dark green to gray-green, deeply cut (bipinnate), fern-like foliage is 3 to 5 inches long near base of plants getting smaller near the top of stems
Foliage is aromatic when crushed.

Flower description

Numerous, tiny white flowers borne in flat-topped clusters (corymbs), 2 to 3 inches across at terminal ends of stalk.
Flowers mid to late summer.
Good fresh or dried flower.

Fruit description




Location of Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.