Achillea is an upright, aromatic
Yarrow that produces beautiful cream colored flowering heads that grow upon tall, delicately leaved stalks. Used for their ornamental charm, these dainty flowering herbs with feathery grayish-green leaves dry easily and make great elements to cut or dried bouquets. Also attractive garden plants, Achilleas grow up to three feet tall and may need to be staked to keep their posture. Ranging from very light white and almost cream, this variety of Achillea is a show stopper in the garden!
Also used medicinally
to cure a number of ailments, the plant's astringent and anti-inflammatory properties have made it popular since the Ancient Greeks. Gaining its name from the hero Achilles in Homer's epic tale, it was told that he used the herb to strengthen his soldiers and help heal their wounds. Its use on the battlefield also gave the plant the name "herbal militaris". Highly regarded by Native Americans as well, they referred to it as "life medicine" and used it to cure toothaches, earaches and for treating cuts, bruises and burns. Traditionally, the Achillea has been used to also cure colds, respiratory infections, inflammation and as an external soak for treating eczema. In modern medicine, salicylic acid is extracted from the plant and is used as an element in Aspirin.
The flowering heads are the most medicinally beneficial part of the Achillea plant, and the millefolium variety is the most medicinally potent. Deadheading old flowers will encourage the plant to produce more blooms for longer.
A terrific companion plant, Achillea is as helpful to the health of its neighboring plants as it is to humans. It attracts predatory insects that feed on hungry larvae while repelling unwanted pests, and its chemical properties actually improve poor soil and the welfare of nearby plants. Like Comfrey
, Achillea also makes a great fertilizer and compost additive.