Achillea ageratifolia GREEK YARROW
A well behaved flowering groundcover
Produces pure white button daisy flowers, beginning in spring and flowering right through summer into autumn. Forms a dense carpet of silver, velvety textured foliage – to make a surface-hugging groundcover.
Evergreen (or in this case ever-grey).
Where to use in the garden
Will spill over rocks, or down the sides of containers in a silver flow. Not invasive, but a very effective carpeting groundcover, with pleasantly aromatic foliage. So do plant it at the pathside where it will occasionally be brushed or crushed to release the fragrance. Looks lovely between paving stones or filling a feature pot and spilling over the edge.
Hardy, easy & tough
It is native to Northern Greece and the Balkan region; so has excellent resistance to drought and heat, once established. Tolerant of poor, sandy or rocky soils, as this is where it feels most at home. Naturally suitable for coastal and windy gardens. Good drainage is essential. Waterlogging is fatal.
Water wise for hot & dry gardens
Revels in hot sun. Performs better, flowers more, and makes a very tight weed suppressing mat – if it is grown lean and mean. Do not overfeed or provide too rich a soil.
Makes a great choice for a sunny garden edge, rockery, gravel garden or decorative container.
For water-saving gardeners Greek Yarrow is the perfect choice.
– Height with flowers: 15cm. Foliage is flat to the ground.
– Width: 30cm approx.
– Position: Full Sun. Tolerates summer heat and dry well. A water wise ground-cover. Sensible choice for water-wise, windy and coastal gardens. Tolerates lime soil well.
– Soil: Well drained essential. Tolerates poor, rocky, or sandy soil conditions happily. Grows best on lean pickings..
– Frost: Hardy, even in hard frosts below -10C.
– Growth: Evergreen perennial groundcover.
– Beneficial to wildlife: Bees and Butterflies visit the flowers happily as a great source of both pollen and nectar. Achillea also attracts beneficial ladybirds. Some birds favour Achillea leaves as nest lining, as the essential oils in the foliage is thought to inhibit parasites in the nest. An extract from the essential oils is also a traditional control mosquito larvae.
– Care: Easy care. Low maintenance. Shearing spent flower stems at the end of the season will tidy the clump quickly. Division every few years will keep the clump producing prolific flower stems. No other work is required.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Although the essential oils in Achillea foliage give a pleasant aroma, they create a bitter taste. Rabbits and deer find it distasteful.
– Origin: Achilleas inhabit many regions throughout the northern hemisphere – from from Turkey to Siberia, India to North America. They are an adaptable and hardy family of plants.
– Myths & Legends: An ancient healing herb, Achillea has gathered a battalion of common names over the centuries of use by healers. Many of the common names relate to traditional antiseptic uses in treating wounds and staunching blood flow; Soldier’s woundwort, nosebleed plant, bloodwort, carpenter’s weed, knight’s milefoil, sanguinary, stanchweed, thousand seal, thousand-seal, death flower.
– Traditional Herbal: The genus name Achillea commemorates Achilles, a celebrated warrior in Greek mythology, who used the plant medicinally to stop bleeding and to heal the wounds of his soldiers.
Other common names relate to the attractive foliage, its scent, essential oils, and fern-like texture; old man’s pepper, bad man’s plaything, old man’s mustard, devil’s nettle, little feather, thousand-leaf, seven-year’s love, and yarrow are just a few of them. Achillea was also used in medieval times as a flavouring in beer brewing, and as a preservative for beer – a very important role when water was often a health hazard.