There are many species of achillea, commonly known as Yarrow. They are all members of the Aster family and the botanical name commemorates the Greek hero Achilles, who is said to have used achillea plants to heal the wounds of the soldiers after battles.
The leaves are ferny and aromatic and the flowers are small and arranged in flat topped clusters or umbels, which have the shape of umbrellas. The flowers Achillea millefolium, the very invasive North American native yarrow are white.
Newer cultivars and hybrids spread less and come in yellow, red and pastel shades and have a long flowering season.
In Your Garden
They form impressive clumps in full sun and well drained soil, with good air circulation. They are drought tolerant and are good cut flowers that also dry well.
Divide clumps in early fall to keep them vigorous and remove spent flowers to encourage re-blooming. Yarrow plants do not need fertilizer and are disease resistant.
They are a good perennial for gardens visited by deer, who tend to avoid the aromatic plants.