common yarrow

(Achillea millefolium)

Conservation Status
common yarrow
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland


Common yarrow is a 8 to 32 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on usually a single stem, sometimes 2 to 4 stems, usually from rhizomes and fibrous roots. It often forms colonies.

The stem is erect, unbranched below the inflorescence, green, and sparsely to densely covered with long, tangled, white, woolly hairs. It does not have short branches in the leaf axils.

Basal leaves are fern-like and form a rosette. They are narrowly oblong to lance-shaped or inversely lance-shaped in outline, up to 13¾ long, and up to 1 wide. The division on the compound leaves is variable, as is the orientation of the leaflets. The leaf blades are deeply divided into leaflets (pinnate), which may be again pinnately divided (bipinnate). The ultimate leaflets are lobed (pinnatifid), and the lobes may be again lobed (bipinnatifid). The ultimate lobes are linear to thread-like, 1 16 to long, sometimes up to 3 16 long, and sharply pointed at the tip. The overall appearance of the blade may be flat, the leaflets and lobes arrayed like a feather, or 3-dimensional, the leaflets and lobes arrayed like a bottle brush. The upper surface is green or grayish-green and hairless or sparsely to moderately covered with woolly hairs. The lower surface is similar in color and moderately to densely covered with woolly hairs.

Stem leaves are alternate, 1 to 4¾ long, 3 16 to 1 wide, and otherwise similar to basal leaves. The leaves become gradually smaller as they ascend the stem. Only the lowermost stem leaves are stalked. When crushed, the stem and leaves emit an unpleasant odor.

The inflorescence is flat-topped or dome-shaped, compound, coyrmb-like, branched cluster (panicle) of 10 to 100 or more flower heads at the end of the stem.

The whorl of bracts at the base of the flower head (involucre) is to 3 16long and narrowly cup-shaped to nearly cylinder-shaped. It is composed of 20 to 30 modified leaves (phyllaries) in more or less 3 overlapping series. The phyllaries are green and egg-shaped to lance-shaped. The outer phyllaries are shorter than the inner ones. They have dark green to yellowish midribs and are densely covered with woolly hairs. The margins may be green, light brown, or dark brown.

The flower heads are to 3 16in diameter. They usually have 5 ray florets but may have as few as 3 or as many as 8, and they have 10 to 20 disk florets. The ray florets are white, rarely pink. The expanded portion of the ray floret is 1 16 to long and wide. The disk florets are white to grayish-white.

The fruit is a dry, one-seeded, 1 32 to 1 16 long seed capsule (cypsela). There is no tuft of hairs attached to the end.




8 to 32


Flower Color




Similar Species




Moderate moisture to wet. Prairies, forest openings, fields, roadsides, disturbed sites. Full sun.




July to October


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 24, 28, 29, 30.








Very common and widespread

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Asterales (sunflowers, bellflowers, fanflowers, and allies)  


Asteraceae (sunflowers, daisies, asters, and allies)  
  Subfamily Asteroideae  
  Supertribe Asterodae  
  Tribe Anthemideae (chamomiles, yarrows, and allies)  
  Subtribe Matricariinae  


Achillea (yarrows)  

Subordinate Taxa


Up to eight subspecies, sixteen varieties, and seven forms of Achillea millefolium are currently recognized by some sources, based on differences in density and persistence of hairs, color of phyllary margins, leaf dissection and the shape of lobes, and the shape of the inflorescence. Other sources treat Achillea millefolium as a single, variable species.




Achillea alpicola

Achillea angustissima

Achillea arenicola

Achillea aspleniifolia

Achillea borealis

Achillea borealis ssp. arenicola

Achillea borealis ssp. californica

Achillea borealis ssp. typica

Achillea borealis var. arenicola

Achillea borealis var. californica

Achillea californica

Achillea eradiata

Achillea fusca

Achillea gigantea

Achillea gracilis

Achillea lanulosa

Achillea lanulosa ssp. alpicola

Achillea lanulosa ssp. megacephala

Achillea lanulosa ssp. typica

Achillea lanulosa var. alpicola

Achillea lanulosa var. arachnoidea

Achillea lanulosa var. eradiata

Achillea laxiflora

Achillea magna

Achillea megacephala

Achillea millefolium ssp. atrotegula

Achillea millefolium ssp. borealis

Achillea millefolium ssp. lanulosa

Achillea millefolium ssp. occidentalis

Achillea millefolium ssp. pallidotegula

Achillea millefolium var. alpicola

Achillea millefolium var. arenicola

Achillea millefolium var. aspleniifolia

Achillea millefolium var. borealis

Achillea millefolium var. californica

Achillea millefolium var. fulva

Achillea millefolium var. fusca

Achillea millefolium var. gigantea

Achillea millefolium var. gracilis

Achillea millefolium var. lanulosa

Achillea millefolium var. litoralis

Achillea millefolium var. maritima

Achillea millefolium var. megacephala

Achillea millefolium var. millefolium

Achillea millefolium var. nigrescens

Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis

Achillea millefolium var. pacifica

Achillea millefolium var. parviligula

Achillea millefolium var. parvula

Achillea millefolium var. puberula

Achillea millefolium var. rosea

Achillea millefolium var. russeolata

Achillea nigrescens

Achillea occidentalis

Achillea pacifica

Achillea puberula

Achillea rosea

Achillea subalpina

Achillea tomentosa


Common Names



carpenter’s weed

common yarrow

devil’s nettle



nose bleed



soldier’s woundwort



western yarrow

woolly yarrow













The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.



Twice pinnate. Divided into leaflets that are further pinnately divided.



Twice pinnatifid. Cut deeply into lobes with each lobe also cut into deep lobes.


Compound leaf

A leaf that is divided into leaflets, each leaflet having the general appearance of a leaf, with all leaflets attached to a single leaf stem.



A flat-topped or convex inflorescence in which the stalked flowers grow upward from various points on the main stem to approximately the same horizontal plane. The outer flowers open first.



A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



A pyramidal inflorescence with a main stem and branches. Flowers on the lower, longer branches mature earlier than those on the shorter, upper ones.



An individual bract within the involucre of a plant in the Asteraceae family.



On a compound leaf, having the leaflets arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk. On a bryophyte, having branches evenly arranged on opposite sides of a stem.



Deeply cut, more than half way to the midrib but not to the midrib, into lobes that are spaced out along the midrib; the lobes do not form separate leaflets.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

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Robert Briggs

    common yarrow   common yarrow  


    common yarrow   common yarrow  
    common yarrow      


    common yarrow   common yarrow  


    common yarrow   common yarrow  


    common yarrow   common yarrow  
    common yarrow   common yarrow  
    common yarrow      


    common yarrow   common yarrow  



  Achillea millefolium
Matt Lavin
  Achillea millefolium  
  Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)  
  Achillea millefolium YARROW
Frank Mayfield
  Achillea millefolium YARROW  
  Achillea millefolium

Published on May 18, 2012

Plants of future (

GRIN - Taxonomic information (




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Other Videos
  Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Wandering Sole TV

Published on Jul 15, 2013

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a flowering plant in the Sunflower (Asteraceae) family. It grows in temperate regions throughout North America and the Northern Hemisphere.

It is a very useful herb and throughout history various parts of the plant have been used to treat rheumatism, sore throats, toothaches, wounds and abrasions, high blood pressure, nosebleeds, colds, fevers, the flu, and variety of other ailments. It also has been used used as an anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, astringent, tonic, and stimulant. It contains the alkaloid achilleine, which can be used to suppress menstruation. The Secwepemc peoples put the leaves on fires to keep mosquitos away.

Despite all its uses, yarrow can cause severe allergic skin rashes and prolonged use can increase the skin's photosensitivity.

Other names for common yarrow include gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man's pepper, devil's nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier's woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal.

  Common Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) - 2013-07-13

Published on Aug 2, 2013

Achillea millefolium (yarrow or common yarrow) is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae.

Duizendblad (Achillea Millefolium) is een plant uit de composietenfamilie (Asteraceae).

  Common Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) - 2012-09-02

Published on Sep 5, 2012

Achillea millefolium (yarrow or common yarrow) is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae.

Duizendblad (Achillea Millefolium) is een plant uit de composietenfamilie (Asteraceae).

  Achillea millefolium

Published on Sep 29, 2013

Yarrow - a weedlike plant often found growing in wastelands and roadsides. It has many leaves and clusters of white or pink flowers. Many medicinal values in this plant were utilized by First Nations groups in the Pacific Northwest.




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  Robert Briggs

Location: Whitetail Woods Regional Park

common yarrow  

Afton State Park

Anna Gronseth Prairie

Antelope Valley SNA

Avon Hills Forest SNA, North Unit

Badoura Jack Pine Woodland SNA

Baker Park Reserve

Banning State Park

Belgium Prairie

Bertram Chain of L akes Regional Park

Big Stone Lake State Park

Big Woods Heritage Forest WMA

Blackhoof River WMA

Blaine Preserve SNA

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Blanket Flower Prairie SNA

Blazing Star Prairie

Blazing Star Prairie Addition Preserve, South Unit

Blue Devil Valley SNA

Blue Mounds State Park

Bonanza Prairie SNA

Boot Lake SNA

Brownsville Bluff SNA

Buffalo River State Park

Bunker Hills Regional Park

Butternut Valley Prairie SNA

Butterwort Cliffs SNA

Cambria WMA

Camden State Park

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Carver Highlands WMA, South Unit

Carver Park Reserve

Cedar Mountain SNA

Cedar Rock SNA

Chippewa Prairie

Clear Lake SNA

Cleary Lake Regional Park

Clifton E. French Regional Park

Compass Prairie SNA

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crosby Farm Regional Park

Crow Wing State Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Des Moines River SNA

Dodge Nature Center

Dry Sand WMA

Edward Velishek Memorial WMA

Englund Ecotone SNA

Falls Creek SNA

Felton Prairie SNA, Bicentennial Unit

Flandrau State Park

Franconia Bluffs SNA

Frenchman’s Bluff SNA

Frontenac State Park

Glacial Lakes Preserve

Glacial Lakes State Park

Glendalough State Park

Glynn Prairie SNA

Great River Bluffs State Park

Greenleaf Lake SRA

Greenwater Lake SNA

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Gustafson’s Camp SNA

Hampton Woods WMA

Hastings SNA

Hayes Lake State Park

Helen Allison Savanna SNA

Hemlock Ravine SNA

Hole-in-the-Mountain Prairie

Holthe Prairie SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Hythecker Prairie SNA

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Iron Springs Bog SNA

Itasca State Park

Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary SNA

Jay Cooke State Park

John Murtaugh Memorial WMA

John Peter Hoffman Spring Brook Valley WMA

Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Kasota Prairie

Kasota Prairie SNA

La Salle Lake SNA

Lake Alexander Woods SNA, South Unit

Lake Bemidji State Park

Lake Bronson State Park

Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Lake Louise State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Leif Mountain

Lester Lake SNA

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Lundblad Prairie SNA

Lutsen SNA

Maplewood State Park

Margherita Preserve-Audubon Prairie

McCarthy Beach State Park

McKnight Prairie

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs Moraine SNA

Mille Lacs WMA

Miller Prairie, West Unit

Minneopa State Park

Minnesota Valley NWR, Long Meadow Lake Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Louisville Swamp Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Rapids Lake Unit

Mississippi River County Park

Moose Lake State Park

Morton Outcrops SNA

Mound Prairie SNA

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, North Unit

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, South Unit

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Myhr Creek Ridge SNA

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Hoffman Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Pavia Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Rengstorf Unit

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Touch the Sky Prairie Unit

Old Mill State Park

Ordway Prairie

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Osmundson Prairie SNA

Otter Tail Prairie SNA

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

P.N. and G.M. Nelson Wildlife Sanctuary

Pankratz Memorial Prairie, North Unit

Partch Woods SNA

Paul Bunyan Savanna

Pembina Trail Preserve SNA, Crookston Prairie Unit

Phelps Lake WMA

Pigeon River Cliffs

Pilot Knob

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Potato Lake SNA

Prairie Coteau SNA

Prairie Creek WMA, Koester Prairie Unit

Quarry Park SNA

Racine Prairie SNA

Red Rock Prairie

Regal Meadow

Rice Lake Savanna SNA

Rice Lake State Park

Ripley Esker SNA

Ritter Farm Park

River Terrace Prairie SNA

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

Rockville County Park

Roscoe Prairie SNA

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

St. Croix State Park

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

Sandpiper Prairie SNA

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Scenic State Park

Schaefer Prairie

Schoolcraft State Park

Sedan Brook Prairie SNA

Seminary Fen SNA

Seven Sisters Prairie

Seven Springs WMA

Sheepberry Fen

Shooting Star Prairie SNA

Sibley State Park

Split Rock Creek State Park

Spring Beauty Northern Hardwoods SNA

Spring Creek Prairie SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Spring Lake Regional Park

Spring Prairie Preserve

Springbrook Nature Center

Staffanson Prairie

Strandness Prairie

Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center

Sunfish Lake Park

Swedes Forest SNA

Tamarack Nature Center

Tiedemann WMA

Tribute WMA

Twin Lakes SNA

Twin Valley Prairie Addition

Twin Valley Prairie SNA

Twin Valley WMA: North Unit

Two Rivers Aspen Prairie Parkland SNA

Tympanuchus Prairie

Uncas Dunes SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Valley View Park

Vermillion Highlands Research Recreation and WMA

Vermillion River WMA

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitewater State Park

Wild Indigo SNA

Wild River State Park

William O’Brien State Park

Wood-Rill SNA

Woodbury WMA

Woodland Trails Regional Park

Zumbro Falls Woods SNA







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