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Achillea millefolium.jpg
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Supertribe: Asterodae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Achillea
Type species
Achillea millefolium
  • Millefolium Mill.[2]
  • Ptarmica Mill.[3]

Achillea /ækɪˈlə/[4] is a group of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, known colloquially as yarrows. They were described as a genus by Linnaeus in 1753.[5][6] The genus was named after the Greek mythological character Achilles. According to legend, Achilles' soldiers used yarrow to treat their wounds,[7] hence some of its common names such as allheal and bloodwort.

The genus is native primarily to Europe, temperate areas of Asia, and North America.[8][9] The common name "yarrow" is usually applied to Achillea millefolium,[10] but may also be used for other species within the genus.


These plants typically have frilly, hairy, aromatic leaves. The plants show large, flat clusters of small flowers at the top of the stem. The flowers can be white, yellow, orange, pink or red and are generally visited by many insects, and are thus characterised by a generalised pollination system.[11]


Achillea species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species - see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Achillea.


Achillea species and cultivars are popular garden plants. The following are recipients of the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:

  • Achillea ageratifolia[12]
  • Achillea 'Coronation Gold'[13]
  • Achillea 'Credo' [14]
  • Achillea filipendulina 'Cloth of Gold' [15]
  • Achillea filipendulina 'Gold Plate' [16]
  • Achillea 'Heidi' [17]
  • Achillea 'Hella Glashoff' [18]
  • Achillea 'Lachsschönheit' (Galaxy Series) [19]
  • Achillea × lewisii 'King Edward'[20]
  • Achillea 'Lucky Break' [21]
  • Achillea 'Martina'[22]
  • Achillea millefolium 'Lansdorferglut' [23]
  • Achillea 'Mondpagode'[24]
  • Achillea 'Moonshine' [25]
  • Achillea 'Summerwine'[26]

List of species[edit]

Nearly 1,000 names have been published within the genus Achillea, at or below the level of species. Sources differ widely as to which of these should be recognized as species, which ones merit subspecies or variety status, and which ones are merely synonyms of better-established names. For convenience, The Plant List maintained by the Kew Botanic Gardens in London is followed.[27]



  1. ^ lectotype designated by Green, Prop. Brit. Bot. 182 (1929)
  2. ^ "Achillea". Index Nominum Genericorum. International Association for Plant Taxonomy. 2006-02-20. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
  3. ^ "Ptarmica Mill. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  4. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  5. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 2: 896–897. in Latin
  6. ^ Tropicos, Achillea L.
  7. ^ Jalali, Farnood Shokouhi Sabet; Tajik, Hossein; Hadian, Mojtaba (2010). "Efficacy of topical application of alcoholic extract of yarrow in the healing process of experimental burn wounds in rabbit". Comparative Clinical Pathology. 21 (2): 177–181. doi:10.1007/s00580-010-1081-7. S2CID 24486255.
  8. ^ Flora of North America Achillea Linnaeus
  9. ^ Flora of China Vol. 20-21 Page 759 蓍属 shi shu Achillea Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 896. 1753.
  10. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  11. ^ Van Der Kooi, C. J.; Pen, I.; Staal, M.; Stavenga, D. G.; Elzenga, J. T. M. (2015). "Competition for pollinators and intra-communal spectral dissimilarity of flowers". Plant Biology. 18 (1): 56–62. doi:10.1111/plb.12328. PMID 25754608.
  12. ^ "Achillea ageratifolia". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Achillea 'Coronation Gold'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Achillea 'Credo'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  15. ^ "Achillea filipendulina 'Cloth of Gold'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  16. ^ "Achillea filipendula 'Gold Plate'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Achillea 'Heidi'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  18. ^ "Achillea 'Hella Glashoff'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Achillea 'Lachsschönheit' (Galaxy Series)". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Achillea × lewisii 'King Edward'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Achillea 'Lucky Break'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  22. ^ "Achillea 'Martina'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Achillea millefolium 'Lansdorferglut'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  24. ^ "Achillea 'Mondpagode'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Achillea 'Moonshine'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  26. ^ "Achillea 'Summerwine'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  27. ^ The Plant List search for Achillea