Beautiful shades of salmon-pink-coral and sandstone wash across the flowers of Achillea ‘Wesersandstein’.
The name is quite a tongue twister.
But as the German plant breeder gazed in admiration at the blooms on his newest Achillea, he noticed a resemblance to the lovely colours in the cliffs of the nearby River Weser.
So he bestowed the unusual name of ‘Wesersandstein’ on his newest beauty.
It means “sandstone of the River Weser”.
Plus the grey-green leaves provide the perfect colour foil for such unusual sandstone shades.
Neat clumps with no runners
Talented German breeders have recently created many excellent new “clumping” varieties of Achillea.
They have aimed for plants with commercial cut flower production combined with garden worthiness.
So their new Achilleas neatly clump, rather than make invasive runners like the old weedy varieties.
There is no invasive weed amongst these new, aristocratic German Achilleas.
Excellent cut flowers
Achillea ‘Wesersandstein’ provides excellent cut flowers, with strong, easily cleaned stems.
Plus of course those wonderful salmon-sandstone-coral flower heads last for ages in a vase.
Aromatic, insect repelling foliage
The leaves have a pleasant, spicy aroma. Which persists strongly when they are dried.
So potpourri and insect repellent sachets have traditionally been made from the dried leaves.
And this pretty, ferny foliage remains as a neat evergreen clump year round.
Colour for months
Achillea ‘Wesersandstein’ blooms for much of year, except in winter.
So there are always lovely flowers for both garden display and vases.
Hardy, tough & water-wise
Achillea ‘Wesersandstein’ is certainly unflappable in tough going.
So it tolerates hot and dry conditions well; copes with summer humidity; smiles at hard frosts; and shrugs off periods of dry. It even thrives in poor soils.
Growing: Achillea ‘Wesersandstein’
– Height with flowers: 60cm. approx.
– Width: Clump to a diameter of 40cm approx. with no spreading runners.
– Position: Full Sun. Tolerates summer heat and humidity well, as well as periods of dry.
– Soil: Achillea is very un-fussy about soil type, though good drainage is essential.
It will tolerate poor soil conditions well.
In fact Achillea flower production is best if it is grown lean and mean. Because overfeeding produces leaf growth at the expense of strong flower stems.
It is excellent in sandy, or rocky soils and a good choice for coastal gardens.
– Frost: Hardy, even in hard frosts to well below -10C.
– Growth: Evergreen perennial clump with pretty ferny foliage all year round..
– Beneficial to wildlife: Bees and Butterflies delight in visiting the flowers for both pollen and nectar.
Achillea also attracts beneficial ladybirds.
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 the essential oils is a traditional control for mosquito larvae.
– Easy Care: Easy care and low maintenance. The clump is quickly tidied by shearing spent flower stems.
You can increase flower production further by dividing and sharing your clump every few years.
No other work is required.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Rabbits and deer find Achillea distasteful because the essential oils create a bitter taste in the foliage.
Achillea is native to many different areas in Europe and Asia, from the heat of Turkey to the cold of the northern Baltic states. Hence Achilleas exceptional hardiness and ability to adapt to a wide range of difficult conditions.
So it is often found thriving on poor and neglected land.
Traditional healing herb
Achillea has gathered a battalion of common names over the centuries.
Unsurprisingly, many names relate to its use as an antiseptic for treating wounds and staunching blood flow.
Thus common names include Soldier’s woundwort, nosebleed plant, bloodwort, carpenter’s weed, knight’s milefoil, sanguinary, stanchweed, thousand seal, and scarily, death flower.
While other common names relate to its attractive foliage, 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, to mention just a few common names.
The genus name Achillea celebrates an ancient Greek warrior, Achilles.
He also used this plant to heal war wounds.
Important for beer
In medieval times Achillea was used as a flavouring in beer brewing, and as a preservative for beer.
Both very important roles considering water was a health hazard then.
Given their daily beer intake as a replacement for water, medieval man, and woman, must have spent a lot of time pickled,
And a pioneer plant in Australia
Early sailing ships brought Achillea with the pioneering European settlers to Australia. Pioneering farmers considered it an important ingredient in their family medicine chest, as well as fodder and tonic for their sheep.