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Achillea Millefolium


The Jo-Anna Plant Encyclopedia:  Achillea Millefolium

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ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM, YARROW, SOLDIER'S WOUNDWORT, DEVIL'S PLAYTHING, STAUNCHWEED, CARPENTER'S WEED, MILFOILJo-Anna Cottage Plants - Achillea Millefolium Paprika Mix

As you walk through the quintessential cottage garden with roses around the arches, tall Delphiniums towering in the back of the borders along with Hollyhock's swaying gently in the summer breeze and Aquilegia's nodding their heads... the Achillea will most definitely be a feature in this beautiful typical English country garden.  Achilleas' are however one of the broadest variety of plants you will find. With many many different forms.  Millefolium is just one and is the closest you will find to the roadside wild flower yarrow which some will probably consider weeds.  You will also find miniature versions growing in many lawns. Over time, hybrids of Achillea Millefolium such as Credo, Summer Wine, Cerise Queen, Summer Pastels, Paprika Mix and Terracotta, have been introduced to the market and inevitably found their way into our gardens... and very beautiful they are too.  


ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM, YARROW, SOLDIER'S WOUNDWORT, DEVIL'S PLAYTHING, STAUNCHWEED, CARPENTER'S WEED, MILFOILYarrow - Common Wild Flower


Achillea Millefolium and its many common names...



ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM, YARROW, SOLDIER'S WOUNDWORT, DEVIL'S PLAYTHING, STAUNCHWEED, CARPENTER'S WEED, MILFOILAchillea Cerise Queen - Jo-Anna Cottage Plants

It is usual for plants to have common names and several of them but Achillea seems to have more than average... Herbal Millitaris, Nosebleed Plant, Milfoil, Gordaldo, Soldier's Woundwort, Devil's Nettle, Thousand Seal, Old Man's Pepper, Knight's Milfoil, Carpenter's Weed, Thousand Leaf, Staunchweed, Devil's Plaything, and Sanguinary.  These common names are most likely to have come from its many uses over the centuries such as Herbal Millitaris which derived from its use by the Military to staunch the blood from wounds.  Other common names such as Soldier's Woundwort, Sanguinary, Stuanchweed and Nosebleed Plant seem to support its ability to reduce if not stop the bleeding from wounds.  An ointment was made from the plant and then applied. 



Flowering and Foliage...

I love the feathery foliage as much as the flowers, in particular, their aroma.  Some varieties also have fine hairs to the leaves making them velvety.  The flowers are constructed of many mini discs surrounded by 3 - 8 small rays.  These are joined by several stems into a flat cluster. In the wild the colour is generally white but the hybrids come in many rich and vibrant shades.





Planting, Positioning & Suitability...

Achillea Millefolium are relatively drought tolerant which is why they survive and propagate to easily in the wild.  It is important that they are in well drained soil.  If you are uncertain we always recommend that you dig a hole much deeper than you require and fill the base with small pieces of rubble or gravel, before planting.  This will ensure that surface waters drains to the base of the hole giving the plant some relief and the ability to establish.  The plant will be at its happiest in full sun thought it does tolerate partial shade.  As with many other perennials it is best to deadhead regularly to encourage repeat flowering.  




ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM, YARROW, SOLDIER'S WOUNDWORT, DEVIL'S PLAYTHING, STAUNCHWEED, CARPENTER'S WEED, MILFOILAchillea Cherry Queen





Mature Height, Spread and Characteristics...

Each variety reaches different heights usually ranging from 30cm- 100cm and it can spread an equal distance.  Always allow sufficient room for growth when planting and ensure that any neighbouring smaller plants will not be swamped by them once they mature.  The leaves alone can vary in length from 5 to 20cm.    Flowering usually starts in May through to June but this period is extended in certain varieties and with regular deadheading.   





Other interesting facts...

THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDE FOR INFORMATIVE PURPOSES ONLY AND WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT USE THIS PLANT EDIBLY OR MEDICINALLY.

There have been many uses for Achillea including in earlier days its use as the devil's herb in spells.  This led to the Devil's Plaything, and Devil's Nettle common names.  Apart from this and the benefits to wounds mentioned earlier, it is said to be good for snuff (Old Man's Pepper), as tea for colds and fevers, in another form for Kidney disorders and piles and saving the best for last, as a hairwash to prevent baldness! 


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