Achillea ageratifolia



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Achillea ageratifolia

This tough groundcover produces pure white button daisy flowers, above a carpet of silver foliage.
Achillea ageratifolia Greek Yarrow, begins blooming in spring and continues to make buttons through summer into autumn.

White buttons on a silver carpet

Hardy Greek Yarrow forms a dense carpet of silver, velvety textured foliage – making a surface-hugging groundcover. It really is a great little evergreen weed suppressor (or in this case, ever-grey).
(Please see “Growing” section below for plant details, how / where to grow).

Expert groundcover at coping hot & dry

The name Greek Yarrow says it all.
Because this tough little groundcover hails from the dry, sun-baked, rocky slopes of northern Greece and the Balkan region. 

Hardy, easy & tough

So it has excellent resistance to drought and heat, once established.
Similarly it is tolerant of poor, sandy or rocky soils, as this is where it feels most at home.
Plus naturally suitable for coastal and windy gardens.
Although good drainage is very important, as waterlogging is fatal for Greek Yarrow.

Water wise for hot & dry gardens

It will perform better, flower more, and make a very tight weed suppressing mat – if it is grown lean and mean. Do not overfeed or overwater or plant in rich soil, or you will quickly part company. 
So Greek yarrow is a great choice for a sun baked garden edge, rockery, gravel garden or decorative container.

Where to use in the garden

Greek Yarrow will spill over rocks, or drape down the sides of containers in a flow of silver.
But it is not invasive.
Thus it makes a very effective carpet, with pleasantly aromatic foliage. 
So do plant it at the pathside where it will occasionally be brushed or crushed to release the fragrance.
And it looks lovely between paving stones or filling a feature pot where it can spill over the edge.

Growing: Achillea ageratifolia

Height with flowers: White button flowers approx.15cm. above a totally flat mat.
Width: Forms a round silver carpet to a diameter of approx. 30cm.
Position: Prefers a Full Sun position and will relish summer heat and dry, as well as winter frost. 
Thrives in windy and seaside locations, as well as rockeries and pots.
Soil: Essential to plant in well drained soil. And will happily tolerate poor, rocky, and sandy soil, as well as high levels of lime in the soil.
Frost: Hardy, even in hard frosts below -10C.
Growth: Evergreen (actually ever-grey) perennial groundcover.

Easy, low care and great for wildlife

Beneficial for wildlife: Bees and butterflies both visit the flowers joyfully, as a great source of both pollen and nectar.
As well as attracting beneficial ladybirds, it also attracts some birds.
Birds seem to favour Achillea leaves for nest lining. As it is thought the essential oils in the foliage inhibits parasites in the nest. An extract from Achillea essential oils is also a traditional control of mosquito larvae.  
Care: Easy care and very low maintenance. Although shearing spent flower stems at the end of the season will tidy the clump quickly, and promote even more flowers.
Division every few years will also keep the clump producing prolific flower stems.
No other work is required.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: The oils in the foliage create a bitter taste, which rabbits and deer do not enjoy. 

A battalion of history

Origin: Native to the hot, dry, rocky slopes of Greece and Croatia.
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 Medicine: The genus name Achillea commemorates Achilles, who was a celebrated warrior in Greek mythology. He used Achillea medicinally to stop bleeding and also to heal the wounds of his soldiers. 
It was also used in medieval times as a flavouring in beer brewing. As well as a preservative for beer, which was a very important role when water was often a health hazard.


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