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Achillea millefolium

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
80 centimetres tall
Fields, grassland, lawns, meadows, roadsides, wasteland.

White, 5 petals
The many white flowers, often tinged pink, are clustered together in a flat-topped head. Disc florets are yellowish.
Yarrow has small achenes as its fruit. The fruit is technically known as 'cypsela'.
Alternate, pinnately divided leaves, reaching 12cm in length. Its leaflets are divided into further leaflets. This gives the leaves a soft, feathery appearance.
Aromatic leaves when crushed.
Other Names:
All-heal, Angel Flower, Arrow-root, Bad Man's Plaything, Bloodwort, Cammock, Carpenter's Weed, Common Yarrow, Devil's Mustard, Devil's Nettle, Devil's Plaything, Dog Daisy, Fernweed, Field Hoop, Field Hops, Gordaldo, Greenarrow, Herbe Miliaris, Knight's Milfoil, Little Feather, Milfoil, Military Herb, Noble Yarrow, Nose-bleed, Nosebleed Plant, Old Man's Baccy, Old Man's Mustard, Old Man's Pepper, Sanguinary, Soldier Friend, Soldier's Woundwort, Squirrel Tail, Staunchgrass, Staunchweed, Thousand Weed, Thousand-leaf, Thousand-seal, Western Yarrow, Wound Wort, Yarroway.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Achillea millefolium, commonly known as yarrow, is a perennial herb in the family Asteraceae. It is native to the northern hemisphere and can be found in meadows, fields, and along roadsides. The plant has feathery leaves and small white or pink flowers that bloom in clusters. It has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, including treating colds and fever, and to stop bleeding. It can also be used as a dye plant and for ornamental landscaping.


Yarrow, also known as Achillea millefolium, is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of conditions, from dry to moist soils, and in full sun or partial shade.

The plant gets its common name from the Greek hero Achilles, who is said to have used the plant to heal wounds on the battlefield. Yarrow has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to stop bleeding and promote healing. The leaves and flowers contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, making it an effective herb for treating cuts, scrapes, and other minor skin injuries.

In addition to its medicinal uses, yarrow is also a popular herb for ornamental gardens. The plant has delicate, feathery leaves and produces clusters of small, white or pink flowers. It is drought-tolerant and can be used as a border plant or as a ground cover.

Yarrow can also be used in cooking and as a tea. The leaves and flowers have a slightly bitter taste and can be used to flavor soups, stews, and salads. The tea is said to have a calming effect and can be used to relieve stress and anxiety.

It is important to note that although yarrow is generally considered safe when used in small amounts, it can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. It should also be avoided by pregnant women, as it can stimulate the uterus and cause miscarriage.

Another interesting aspect of yarrow is its use in traditional divination practices. The dried leaves or flowers are sometimes used in "yarrow stalks" divination, a method of divination that is similar to I Ching. The method involves counting and cutting yarrow stalks to determine the answer to a question or to gain insight into a situation.

Yarrow is also known for its ability to attract beneficial insects to the garden. The flowers are a favorite of pollinators such as bees and butterflies, making it a great addition to any garden that aims to support pollinator populations.

In addition to its medicinal and ornamental uses, yarrow can also be used for practical purposes such as in agriculture. It has been used as a companion plant to repel pests and improve soil health. The plant is thought to release a chemical that repels certain insects, making it a useful companion for vegetables and other crops.

It's also important to note that Yarrow is also a natural remedy for hay fever and other allergic rhinitis. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help reduce the symptoms of these conditions and provide relief.

Yarrow is also used in cosmetics and skincare products. The oil extracted from the flowers and leaves is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to soothe and nourish the skin. It is often used in lotions, creams, and other skincare products to help reduce redness, puffiness, and other signs of aging.

In addition to the uses and benefits I've already mentioned, yarrow has some other interesting uses and properties.

One key use of yarrow is in herbalism and traditional medicine. Yarrow is considered to be a "wound herb" because of its ability to stop bleeding and promote healing. It is also said to have pain-relieving properties and can be used to treat headaches, menstrual cramps, and other types of pain.

Another interesting use of yarrow is in aromatherapy. The essential oil of yarrow is said to have a calming and grounding effect, making it useful for reducing stress and anxiety. The oil can be added to a diffuser or massage oil, and can also be used in a bath to promote relaxation.

Yarrow is also used in traditional and folk magic. It is said to have protective properties and can be used in spells and rituals to ward off negative energy and protect the home. Yarrow is also said to enhance psychic abilities, and can be used in divination and scrying.

Yarrow is also known to have a positive effect on the environment. It is considered a "dynamic accumulator" plant, which means that it can help to improve soil health by drawing nutrients from deep in the soil and bringing them to the surface. Yarrow is also known to be a good companion plant for other plants, as it can help to repel pests and improve the health of the surrounding plants.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that Yarrow is a very hardy and easy to grow plant. It is drought-tolerant and can grow in a variety of conditions, making it a great option for gardens with challenging growing conditions. It is also a great option for gardeners who are looking for a low-maintenance plant that can be left to grow on its own.

In conclusion, yarrow is a versatile and useful plant that has a wide range of uses and benefits. From traditional medicine to aromatherapy, gardening, magic and environmental benefits, yarrow is a plant that can be used for both practical and spiritual purposes. It is a great addition to any garden, both for its beauty and its many benefits.


Yarrow filmed in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk on the 29th June 2022.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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