Achilles is said to have used the yarrow plant to bind up his soldiers’ wounds, as it stopped the bleeding. As a result of this medicinal value, the common names of the plant are bloodwort, staunchweed and soldiers’woundwort. You may remember that “wort ” is an old English word for plant.
The old-fashioned ferny-leaved yarrow can be a pest in the garden, as it is an aggressive spreader, and the white blooms quickly turn an unbecoming brown.
However, modern cultivars of yarrow have been developed and bloom in some striking shades, and some hold their color when dried which is great for winter bouquets. Also the ferny foliage is unaffected by pests, and the plants are drought resistant.
They grow best in well-drained soil in full sun and need room to spread. Their flat umbel-shaped flower heads look attractive in the garden or in a vase and last a long time. A bed of only different colored yarrow plants would be an easy-care, deer-resistant planting that would be colorful June through fall in zones 3 to 8.