With more to Achillea than meets the eye, a number of varieties and cultivars are available for sale. Some more garden worthy than others.
All are tough plants that require little attention once established, they have allow water requirement and grow well in poor soils. Gardeners love the Yarrows as they provide color through the summer months.
They also make good cut flowers, although we are not that keen on the smell of the foliage of the silvery leafed types, so do not use these as such.
Widely used in cottage gardens it is important to select the right varieties for your garden. Many of the modern cultivars being less aggressive than some of the species.
Also known as Milfoil and Yarrow these are a very hardy herbaceous perennial and will grow well in many areas of the USA. Zones 3-9 seem to suit most species.
Achillea all prefer a humus rich soil and cooler temperate climates. Full sun is best. Reaching a height of between 1ft and 3ft (1m) they make a great addition to the perennial border.
Plants can be cut back or ‘deadheaded’ after flowering to promote a second fluch of flowers in late summer to fall.
Simply use some garden shears and cut them back to the basal foliage.
All prefer a well drained soil. Excellent for mass planting or including in the cottage garden. All suited to USDA Zones 3 – 11.
- The wonderful free flowing Achillea millefolium is just one of the many perennial species offered for sale. Used widely as dried cut flowers, with strong stems and the ability to hold color. Achillea millefolium are a great border plant, a range of bright colors from white through to pink and red.
- Achillea filipendula – This one is called the fern leaf yarrow, taller growing to around 3 ft in height, yellow flowers and excellent at the rear of the border. Look for the cultivars ‘Cloth of Gold’, ‘Coronation Gold’ and ‘Gold Plate’.
- Achillea tomentosa
- Achillea ptarmica – Often commonly called ‘The Pearl Group’ , Achillea ptarmica has large sprays of double white flowers and is also known as ‘Sneezewort’.
A fairly vigorous species that grows easily from seed and also forms a large clump rather quickly, Achillea ptarmica will reach around 1m (3ft) in height.
- Achillea siberica – Lower growing than most other species, Achillea siberica is commonly called ‘Butterfly weed’. More inclined to form a neat clump, a number of cultivars are available.
Reaching around 40 cm – 80cm in height (2-3 ft) Achillea siberica requires a sunny position in a well drained soil.
Varieties and Cultivars include
Achillea siberica var. camtschatica ‘Love Parade’ with attractive soft pink to mauve flowers and good bright to mid green glossy foliage.
- Cultivars include, ‘Double Diamond’, ‘The Pearl’
Rather than plant the species look for cultivars that are not as aggressive and likely to become a weed problem.
Used in cottage gardens where it can be allowed to spread.
All are easy by division of established clumps in early spring as new growth commences.
Achillea ‘Walter Funcke’
These red, brown to ochre toned Achilleas have a lot to offer in the garden.
Achillea ‘Walter Funcke’ or ‘Funke’ is the name and they are lower growing to start with, the advantage of this is they stay more upright than the taller varieties.
They offer the same grey green foliage, however the tones are more subtle. You could say orange that fades to cream, however that misses the beauty in different climates where the orange to ochre has more red hues.
Bred in Germany, the botanical name is Achillea millefolium ‘Walther Funcke’, and it is a strain of Achillea millefolium ‘Feuerland’, which is taller.
Where to buy
DIGGING DOG NURSERY – phone (707) 937-1130
PO Box 471 Albion CA 95410
Hard to find perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees and vines for your garden.
PINE KNOT FARMS – 434-252-1990 phone 434-252-0768 fax
681 Rockchurch Road, Clarksville Virginia 23927 USA
Mail-order, retail and wholesale of our speciality, is hellebores. Open on site on Fridays and Saturdays in spring and fall where we offer a full range of herbaceous material.
Offering a wide selection of bulbs, perennials, grasses, herbs trees and shrubs.
SEQUIM RARE PLANTS
500 N. Sequim Ave. Sequim, WA 98382
Small mail order nursery with a very interesting range of perennials and other plants.