Common yarrow is a staple in sunny pollinator gardens and parking strips. It has an impressive bloom-time, sporting flat-topped clusters of showy, white flowers from spring to fall. The flowers sit upon hardy stalks making them ideal for fresh or dried arrangements – or to simply leave in the low-maintenance winter garden for birds and over-wintering insects.
Yarrow is highly attractive to pollinators, butterflies, and other beneficial insects – providing them with nectar and a larval food source. The foliage is delightfully-delicate, lacy and fernlike. It can also be also used as a lawn substitute if mown infrequently.
- Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous, perennial, herbaceous plant
- Size at maturity: 1-2' tall, 24" wide
- Light requirements: full sun
- Moisture requirements: moist to dry soil
- Growth rate/ease: fast growth rate, easy to grow
- Bloom time: late June to September
- Wildlife support: adult butterflies/nectar source, bees and other insect pollinators, beneficial insects/pest eating insects, caterpillar host plant/larval food source (Oregon Flora Project)
- Native range: Unique in the diversity of habitats that it occupies from open woodlands, shrublands, grasslands, pastures, rocky slopes, roadsides, disturbed areas, lawns. Native to all ecoregions of Oregon and also found in CA, ID, NV, WA; throughout North America; Asia, Europe. Portland Plant List – yes.
- Special features & uses: drought tolerant, beneficial insect, pollinator and wildlife favorite, medicinal, lawn substitute
Gardening with Western Yarrow: Hardy, easy to grow - an excellent addition for sunny wildflower meadows and pollinator parking strips. It spreads vigorously, but not obnoxiously, by rhizome and seed. Incredibly low-maintenance and drought tolerant. Over time, you’ll have enough to share with friends. The spent flowers stay upright on a sturdy stalk and, if left, can provide winter interest and habitat resources for birds and overwintering beneficial insects.
Seed Sowing instructions: Recommend sowing between September and November or in March. scatter seed on loose-weed free soil. Seed can be lightly raked in to increase seed-to-soil contact, but be careful not to cover the seed with more than 1/4" soil. If sowing in April or May, seeds will benefit from supplemental water to encourage strong growth the first year.
Photo Credit 1: "Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)" by Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo Credit 2: "File:Eristalis arbustorum - Achillea millefolium - Keila.jpg" by Ivar Leidus is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Photo Credit 3 : Tara Lemezis
Photo Credit 4: "yarrow, Achillea millefolium" by Jim Morefield is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0