Yarrow – Achillea millefolium
Landscaping Plants for Bergen County
Achillea millefolium, having fernlike leaves and colorful blooms, is a hardy and versatile perennial commonly known as “yarrow”. The large, flat-topped flower clusters are perfect for cutting and drying. Yarrows as a rule grow between 2 to 4 feet tall, although low-growing varieties are on the market. These plants are remarkably durable, extremeley drought tolerant and require a low soil fertility where other perennials would fade.
Yarrows bloom from midsummer into fall; flower colors include red, pink, salmon, yellow, and white. Yarrow are versatile and look equally at home in a perennial border, sunny rock garden, or wildflower meadow.
When planting yarrow try to select a site with full sun and very well-drained soil. Yarrow thrives in hot, dry conditions and low soil fertility, but won’t tolerate wet soils. Plant them in spring, spacing plants 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on the variety. Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.
The Cherokee, Gosiute, Iroquois, and Mohegan peoples used yarrow as a digestive aid. Other herbal healing traditions use yarrow to treat a variety of conditions characterized by swelling, often combined with echinacea, elder flower, ginger, and peppermint.
It is helpful in relieving fevers, shortening the duration of cold and flu, helping improve relaxation during illness, and relieving cramps associated with hormones or illness. Applied topically, it is helpful with skin itching, rash or other issues.
“The British Herbal Compendium notes that preparations of yarrow lower fevers, induce sweating, stop cramps, encourage menstruation, relieve inflammation, and stimulate the release of stomach acid to digest proteins and fats. The herb is taken internally to treat colds, fevers, and indigestion, and used in skin treatments of slow-healing wounds.
Read more about the medical and herbal benefits of yarrow…..