Achillea millefolium (Yarrow, Common Yarrow)

Achillea millefolium on 8-1-11, #68-1.

Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Gordaldo, Nosebleed Plant, Old Man’s Pepper, Devil’s Nettle, Sanguinary, Milfoil, Soldier’s Woundwort, Thousand-Leaf, and Thousand-Seal.

Achillea millefolium

(Achillea millefolium subsp. millefolium)

Ack-ih-LEE-uh  mill-ee-FOH-lee-um

Synonyms of Achillea millefolium (5) (Updated on 12-19-21 from Plants of the World Online: Achillea dentifera DC., Achillea tanacetifolia var. dentifera W.D.J.Koch, Achillea tenuifolia Salisb., Alitubus millefolium (L.) Dulac, Chamaemelum millefolium (L.) E.H.L.Krause
POWO also lists 123 synonyms of Achillea millefolium subsp. millefolium but I didn’t want to add them because it would take up to much space. You can view them by clicking HERE. The other lower taxon have other synonyms.

Achillea millefolium L. is the correct scientific name for this species of Achillea. The genus and species were named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.

Accepted infraspecific names of Achillea millefolium: Achillea millefolium subsp. alpestris (Wimm., Günther & Grab.) Gremli, Achillea millefolium subsp. ceretanica (Sennen) Sennen, Achillea millefolium subsp. chitralensis Hub.-Mor., Achillea millefolium subsp. collina (Wirtg.) Oborny, Achillea millefolium subsp. elbursensis Hub.-Mor., *Achillea millefolium subsp. millefolium (autonym). *When infraspecific taxon are named, an autonym (“type-specimen”) is automatically generated whose description is closest to the (original) species. All have their own list of synonyms… None of the infraspecific species are found in North America.

As of 12-19-21 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew currently lists 134 species of Achillea in the achillea genus. It is a member of the plant family Asteraceae with 1,678 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.

Distribution map of Achillea millefolium courtesy of Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved on December 19, 2021.

The above distribution map for Achillea millefolium is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native and purple where it has been introduced. The map on the USDA Plants Database for the United States and Canada is similar. There are many cultivars of this species available.


Achillea millefolium at 38″ tall on 7-2-12, #106-1.

A friend of mine, Mary Botler, gave me my start of Achillea millefolium in Leland, Mississippi in 2011. It was pretty funny to see Mary pulling up these plants by the handfuls so I had plenty to put here and there at the mansion. I am quite sure this is an old Achillea cultivar but I have no clue what the name is. It is definitely a cultivar since they are A LOT different than the species growing in the wild.

My first experience with the Achillea millefolium was when I bought a plant from Bluestone Perennials in 1981 or 1982. My grandfather (mom’s dad) passed away in 1981 and I moved into my grandparent’s home on this same farm. The house is gone, but I rejuvenated the flower beds I made way back then. There aren’t any more of the Achillea I bought from Bluestone. There are a lot of native Achillea millefolium growing in the pasture and along the garden fence, but they grow much differently than “domesticated” cultivars.


Achillea millefolium flowers on 6-21-13, #156-2.

I sold the mansion in Mississippi and moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013. I gave up around 200 plants but I took most of my cactus and succulents, Alocasia, some of the perennials and a few other plants. I took two clumps of the Achillea millefolium with me and put them in the bed I had dug along the south side of the house.

Achillea millefolium on 8-23-13, #178-1.

Family: Asteraceae
Origin: Native to many countries.
Zones: USDA Zones 3a-9b (-40 to 25° F)
Size: 24-36″ or taller
Light: Sun to light shade
Soil: Well-drained
Water: Average. Drought tolerant

Achillea millefolium on 10-15-13, #198-1.

As cooler temps started arriving it was time to think about winter. I had been used to fall arriving later after several years in Mississippi. Even though I grew up in mid-Missouri, I was not looking forward to it.


Achillea millefolium on 6-1-14, #6-1-14, #228-1.

I moved the two bigger clumps of Achillea millefolium in the spring of 2014. I moved the bigger one in front of the chicken house and the other next to the porch on the north side of the house. I had a few stragglers so I put them along the basement steps on the south side.

Achillea millefolium on 6-29-14, #230-2.

The Achillea millefolium did very well on the north side of the house despite more shade than it preferred.


Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house on 3-22-15.

Achillea millefolium is always one of the first perennials to return in the spring.

Achillea millefolium in the north bed on 3-22-15, #233-3.

Even though the soil in the north bed stays a little damper than on the south side, the Achillea millefolium seems to have no problems surviving in cold, damp soil.

Achillea millefolium along the basement steps on 4-4-15, #235-1.

Achillea millefolium prefers a location where they receive full sun. They will do OK in light shade but they won’t tolerate too much of it. I tried that in Mississippi and found out that is about the only thing they won’t tolerate.

Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house on 5-1-15, #248-1.

If you plant Achillea millefolium where they receive full sun all day, even in the most intense heat, they will thrive and spread. I think my Achillea being where they receive “just enough” sun and not to much shade has kept them from going crazy. The Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) is planted at the other corner and nothing can stop it…

Achillea millefolium along the basement steps on 5-8-15, #252-1.

The Achillea did very well along the basement steps on the southeast corner of the house for a while then just fizzled out. That was very weird since they prefer full sun and well-drained soil. If you plant your Achillea where it is happy, you will always have it.

Achillea millefolium in the north bed on 6-3-15, #265-2.

The Achillea millefolium in the north bed has always done well there, but every year is gradually moving all by itself. It wants more sun so it is creeping to where it can get more. I am thinking about moving it but I haven’t decided where…

Achillea millefolium along the basement steps on 6-3-15, #265-3.

They didn’t like this spot for some reason even though it is in full sun. They fizzled out…

Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house on 6-4-15, #268-1.


Achillea millefolium flowers on 7-9-16, #274-1.

I didn’t take many photos for a while because I was temporarily without a camera…


Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house on 6-18-17, #345-2.

To successfully grow Achillea millefolium, you only have a few very simple rules. They prefer full sun in well-drained soil. They appreciate a little extra water during dry spells, but even without it, they are OK. While other plants may be drooping because of the intense midday sun, the Achillea loves it. I have never seen my Achillea complain about the heat or being dry.

Achillea millefolium in the north bed at 37″ tall on 8-20-17, #367-1.

As I mentioned earlier, the Achillea millefolium on the north side does well even though it wants more sun. It gets morning sun and again in the late afternoon. It can see the sun beyond the shade so it has a tendency to lean toward it. It may be at least 2 feet from where I originally planted it. I just make the bed bigger…

Achillea millefolium flowers on 9-2-17, #370-2.

Even though I have taken several photos of Achillea millefolium flowers, I keep taking more…


Achillea millefolium in the north bed on 2-18-18, #411-11.

Even though January 2018 was very cold at times, the Achillea millefolium wasted no time coming up whenever it warmed up for a few days.

Achillea millefolium on 4-8-18, #423-1.

It seemed like every time we had a couple of warm days, the Achillea would sneak out for a peek. I am still wondering about moving this clump to a sunnier location. This clump and the one in front of the chicken house get a little more shade than they would like.

Achillea millefolium in the north bed on 5-17-18, #443-2.

The main clump in the north bed keeps moving farther away from the house. I decided to put this clump by the barn. I guess I need to take a photo of it there. There is another clump here in the same bed that is behind Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. I was going to move it to the south bed but it didn’t make it there yet. There are also several new babies that have popped up this spring.

The Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house on 6-14-18, #459-3.

The clump of Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house used to be much bigger. Umm… It is also moving and appears to want to be around the corner. I think it would also like a little more sun to be happy. There is a good-sized elm tree fairly close to the chicken house that keeps it from having as much sun as it would like.

Achillea millefolium in the bed on the north side of the house on 7-29-18, #487-1.

I moved the largest clump of Achillea millefolium to a spot next to the corner of the barn. There is still another clump next to the wall of the house in the north bed (above photo). I thought about moving it to the south bed but that will need to wait until the spring of 2019. I had to stake it up because it was leaning toward the light…

Achillea millefolium in front of the barn on 7-30-18, #488-2.

The above photo is the clump I moved to the barn from the bed on the north side of the house. I think the cows nibbled on it through the fence a little…


Achillea millefolium on 3-10-19, #552-1.

There are still several Achillea millefolium in the bed on the north side of the house from offsets of the clump I moved here a few years ago. I moved the bigger clump to a spot in front of the barn but I keep forgetting to take photos of it. I am not sure how many are coming up in the north bed this spring, or even where they will come up. Over the years they have been moving away from the house in more sun. The clump I put in front of the chicken house (above photo) in 2014 has been slowly but surely moving to more light. Now it is almost around the corner of the chicken house.

Achillea millefolium in front of the barn on 3-17-19, #553-1.

The clump of Achillea millefolium I transplanted next to the southwest corner of the barn is looking very well, too.

Achillea millefolium on 4-20-19, #560-2.

A couple of plants came up close to the steps in the north bed and a couple more toward the center of the bed… I think they are from the clump I moved to the barn last year.

Achillea millefolium on a friend’s farm on 5-1-19, #564-4.

I was doing some work on a friend’s farm during the summer of 2019. It allowed me to be out in nature and see a lot of wildflowers not found on my farm.

Achillea millefolium on a friend’s farm on 5-1-19, #564-5.

Although the Achillea millefolium is growing here and there on my farm as well, there was this HUGE colony on his farm.

Achillea millefolium by the steps on 5-16-19, #573-1.

The Achillea millefolium by the steps are doing very well but I wanted the new Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ for that spot. I would have moved the Achillea to the south side of the house, and still might do that. For the time being, I just planted the Colocasia behind them. Two different species in the same spot with different moisture requirements. Hmmm… What kind of planning is that?

Achillea millefolium with pink flowers on 5-30-19, #578-1.

One day on my friend’s farm I spotted this Achillea millefolium with pink flowers. I had never seen any color but white in the wild. I debated whether or not I should dig it up and bring it home since it was the only one. There are cows in the pasture and I was hoping they wouldn’t eat it. After a few days, I took the shovel to bring it home but it was gone. I am sure the plant is still there but the flower was gone. Hopefully, it will flower again in 2020 and I won’t hesitate to dig it up…

Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house on 6-5-19, #583-1.

The Achillea millefolium is doing amazingly well in front of the chicken house this year.

Achillea millefolium in front of the chicken house on 6-14-19, #589-1.

Flowering up a storm by June 14.

Achillea millefolium flowers on 6-14-19, #589-2.

I really like the flowers of the Achillea millefolium.

Achillea millefolium leaf on 6-23-19, #594-4.

Typical ferny leaf of the Achillea millefolium

Achillea millefolium on 12-7-19, #658-1.

I will continue adding more photos as time goes by.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.


NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates. Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂


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