Photo Credit
Courtesy of Wm. Justice, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.

Common yarrow

Scientific name
Achillea millefolium
Also Known As
European yarrow, Milfoil
Plant Family
Plant Group
Common yarrow is a perennial herb with many small, white flower heads arranged in flat-topped clusters at the tips of stems. The leaves are fern-like with many small divisions.
Identification Hints

Common yarrow is a drought tolerant species that occurs throughout the United States. It is frequently found in the mildly disturbed soil of grasslands and open forests.
There are several ornamental cultivars of common yarrow.

Did You Know?

The species name, millefolium, comes from the French terms "mille", which means 1,000, and "feuille", leaf, a reference to the plant's numerous leaf segments.  The genus Achillea comes from the Greek god, Achilles. Achilles is told in stories to have saved the lives of many of his soldiers by applying yarrow to their wounds to stop bleeding during combat.  Interestingly, several tribes of the Plains region of the United States also traditionally used yarrow for medicinal purposes: pain relief, reduce fever, and as a sleep aid.

Nativar Research Project: Contribute your pollinator observations of this native plant and four of its cultivars.  Are pollinators as attracted to the nativars as they are to the original native plant?  Read more at the Nativar Research Project page.

Desert eve deep rose - pink flowers  Moonshine - yellow flowers  Pink Grapefruit - pink flowers, paler than Desert Eve Deep Rose  Terracotta is an orange flower 

Leaves
The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem, with varying degrees of hairiness. Blades are finely dissected but lance-shaped in outline (fern-like), approximately 0.20 to 1.18 in (0.5 to 3 cm) wide by 1.18 to 5.91 in (3 to 15 cm) long.
Flowers
Many small whitish to yellowish-white flower heads (occasionally pinkish) arranged in flat topped clusters at tip of stems. Each flower head: 3 to 8 ray flowers (appear as ‘petals’) surround 15 to 40 tiny disk flowers. Approximately 10 to 20 flower heads make up one flower cluster.
Fruits
Tiny brown flattened achene (nutlet-like), oblong in shape, 0.08 in (2 mm) long. Fruits form quickly after flowers wither.
Habitat
Distributed widely throughout temperate areas in the northern hemisphere. Found in dry, disturbed areas up to the alpine zone (including grasslands, sagebrush, meadows, and alpine tundra).
Bloom Time
May to September.