top of page
< Back

Yarrow

Achillea borealis

Family:

Asteraceae

The genus name, Achillea, refers to Achilles, of Greek mythology, who was said to have treated his soldiers' wounds with yarrow.

Meadow or Grassland garden

Meadow / Grassland garden

Pollinator garden

Pollinator garden

Container garden

Container garden

Cutting garden

Cutting garden

Drought tolerant

Drought tolerant

rabbit resistant

Rabbit resistant

Aggressive plant

Aggressive plant

deer resistant

Deer resistant

High-value

High-value

Late season star

Late season star

Details

Emerges 

June

Seed collection

Flowers

July, August, September

white flowers

White

August, September, October

Lifecycle

Perennial

Lifespan

short-lived

Height

-

cm

Width

-

cm

Habit

Forbs

Mat-forming

Mat-forming

Spreading

Spreading

Upright

Upright

Rhizomatous

Rhizomatous

Ecology

Supports

Supports bees

Bees

Supports butterflies and moths

Butterflies & Moths

Supports beneficial insects

Beneficial insects

Providing

Provides pollen source

Pollen source

Provides nectar source

Nectar source

Habitat

Typically found in

disturbed areas, open woods, meadows, prairie

This yarrow is circumpolar and is the only species within the genus that is native to North America.

In the Garden

Growing Conditions

Moisture

Dry conditions

Dry

Average conditions

Average

Moist conditions

Moist

Light

Full sun

Full sun

Soil

Average garden soil, Rocky

Propagation

Via

Seeds

Seeds

Division

Division

Self-seeding

Self-seeding

Sowing Recommendations

Direct sow seeds

Direct sow seeds

Sow seeds in Fall

Fall planting

High or easy germination

Landscape

Use for:

Middle of bed placement

Middle of bed

Mass planting

Mass planting

Groundcover

Groundcover

Naturalization

Naturalization

Growing Tips

  • Use for groundcover or naturalization. 

  • Contain in small spaces, as it is not a 'good neighbour' plant. Use a large shrub or tree pot buried to the rim. 

  • Alternatively, use deep landscape edging (20 cm) to create a yarrow 'bed'.

Description

There is some ongoing debate in the world of taxonomy about the naming of Achillea, so you may see it named as Achillea borealis in VASCAN, or as Achillea millefolium var. borealis in iNaturalist. A. millefolium is native to Europe and is what you will find at a garden centre, either as a cultivar or listed as a native. It is very likely that any yarrow grown, or that grows wild, in urban areas is either a garden escapee, or a hybridized version of A. borealis. Other than testing at the molecular level, your only clue is that pure A. borealis will have true white rays. A. millefolium tends to have pinkish rays, but that is variable.

bottom of page