Achillea millefolium

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Achillea millefolium

Achillea millefolium, or common yarrow, is a herbaceous flowering plant in the Asteracae family. Sometimes also called western yarrow, millefoil, bloodwort, carpenter's weed, plumajillo, and hierba de las cortaduras.


  • Achillea borealis
  • Achillea lanulosa Nutt. var. eradiata
  • Achillea lanulosa Nutt. var. lanulosa
  • Achillea millefolium L. ssp. lanulosa
  • Achillea millefolium L. var. alpicola
  • Achillea millefolium L. var. borealis
  • Achillea millefolium L. var. californica
  • Achillea millefolium L. var. lanulosa
  • Achillea millefolium L. var. litoralis
  • Achillea millefolium L. var. millefolium
  • Achillea millefolium L. var. occidentalis
  • Achillea millefolium L. var. pacifica [1]


  • Kingdom Plantae – Plants
  • Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
  • Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
  • Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
  • Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
  • Subclass - Asteridae
  • Order - Asterales
  • Family Asteraceae – Aster family
  • Genus Achillea L. – yarrow
  • Species Achillea millefolium L. – common yarrow


Herbaceous perennial growing from rhizomes, from one to several stems up to heights of 8 to 16 inches. Tripinnate and lance-shaped leaves evenly distributed along stem with the leaves becoming smaller towards the top. Leaves typically between 1/4 inch to 1 1/4 inch wide and 1 1/4 inch long to 6 inches long. Flat-topped flower heads (inflorescence) containing 10-20 whitish to yellowish flowers. [2]

Bloom Period

April-October [3]

Distribution of Yarrow


"Widespread throughout North America" [2]


Common in open dry to moist areas from high to low elevations; drought tolerant [3]


Several tribes of the Plains region of the United States including the Pawnee and Chippewa tribes used common yarrow. The Pawnee used the stalk in a treatment for pain relief. The Chippewa used the leaves in a steam inhalant for headaches. They also chewed the roots and applied the saliva to their appendages as a stimulant. The Cherokee drank a tea of common yarrow to reduce fever and aid in restful sleep. [2]


Clean seeds with hammer mill then air screen cleaner. Sow in field between May or June and September. Plant 50-70 seeds per foot 1/2" deep or less spaced in 3" rows.


Achillea millefolium

Abbreviation: ACMI

Seed sample from: 2011

Average Measurement: 1.9 x 0.6 x 0.3

Measurement Range: L: 1.6 - 2.1, W: 0.5 - 1, D: 0.2 - 0.5


Shape: Seed narrowly winged at margins, thicker in the middle. Seed face is narrower at hilum end, broadening at opposite side.

Color: Seed coat papery and white, becoming transparent at the center to reveal a red-brown inner seed.

Surface: Finely longitudinally ridged.

Latitudinal Cross Section: elliptical ACMI-lat-crosssection.png

Longitudinal Cross Section: obovate ACMI-long-crosssection.png


  1. Washington Flora Checklist
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 USDA Plants Profile for Achillea Millefolium
  3. 3.0 3.1 WTU Image Collection:Plants of Washington

Photo Gallery

Basic Explanations and Assumptions:

The dimensions for the seeds are length x width x depth. The location of the hilum is used as the base of the seed, and the length is measured from hilum to the opposite apex. Where a style is present, the length is measured from the hilum to the bottom of the style. Width is measured at a right angle to the length at the widest part. Depth is measured at a right angle to the intersection of height and width lines.

Measurements included are the mean average for each measurement of ten separate seeds.

All measurements in millimeters unless otherwise noted.