Yarrow

©Philip Precey

Yarrow

Scientific name: Achillea millefolium
Yarrow can be found in many grasslands, from lawns to meadows, its flat-topped clusters of flower heads appearing from June. Cultivated varieties are garden favourites.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 50cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to November

About

Yarrow is a tough plant of many grasslands, from lawns to verges and meadows; a strong-smelling perennial, clusters of white, flat-topped flower heads appear from June to November. Yarrow has been used to help restore arable land to grassland by sowing it along with other natives.

How to identify

Yarrow has dark green, finely divided, feathery leaves. It has flat-topped clusters of white flower heads, each comprising yellowish disc florets and pinky-white ray florets - together they give the impression of one flower with a yellow centre and white petals.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Centuries ago, Yarrow was used as a charm against bad luck and illness. Although it was also used to stop wounds from bleeding, it was believed to cause nosebleeds if put up the nose.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try leaving wilder areas in your garden, such as patches of buttercups in your lawn or nettles near your compost heap, to see who comes to visit? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.