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Common name: Western yarrow
Scientific name: Achillea millefolium
Duration: Perennial
Family: Sunflower family (Asteraceae)
Habitat: Common throughout warm, dry climates. Full sun to partial shade.
Blooming period: Midsummer
Color: White (rarely pink)
Height: 1-4'
Planting Time: Fall to early Spring

Pronunciation: Achillea millefolium
(ak-ILL-ee-a mill-ee-FOH-lee-um)

Other common names: milfoil, milenrama

Forage Value: This plant is not heavily grazed by either wildlife or livestock, but bighorn sheep, antelope and deer eat the flowerheads sparingly. Yarrow is an important food source for sage-grouse chicks.

Historic Uses: Because yarrow is native to much of the Northern Hemisphere, aboriginal people all around the world have utilized this spectacular plant for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. In the Pacific Northwest, natives would use this plant to treat snakebites, coughs, toothaches, headaches and fevers. The list of uses for this plant goes on for pages!

Miscellany: Because of yarrow’s extensive rhizomes, this plant is great for soil stabilization at restoration sites.

Achillea is in reference to Achilles, the mythological Greek hero, who supposedly used extracts from the plant to treat wounded soldiers in the battle of Troy.

millefolium means “a thousand-leaves”, referring to the finely dissected leaves of this plant

Further References:
USDA Plant Guide for common yarrow

Photo credit: (top left) J.W. Jensen; (middle) R. Old; (right) D. A.

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