It is not at all difficult to find Yarrow. It’s persistence is very likely the reason that it has survived from ancient times until this day. It survives regular mowing. Yarrow thrives in ditches and fields. Long before there was any scientific substance to back such claims, Yarrow was widely respected as an effective medicinal herb.
There could be no mistaking Yarrow. It is an upright perennial with delicate fern like foliage. Yarrow is native to Europe and hitchhiked over with the early immigrants. While it is not an invasive species, Yarrow has naturalized here in North America. I find that wild Yarrow usually has white or sometimes pale yellow flowers, but there are a wide range of colours in the cultivated varieties.
Zone 2 and up. Yarrow will grow in any soil, but can reach three feet or more in a well nourished spot in full sun. Yarrow starts easily from seed and will bloom the first year in good ground.
Varieties (that i know of) :
- Proa Yarrow -White Flowers
- Moonshine Yarrow – Yellow flowers –
- Mongolian Yarrow – Light Pink flowers
- Red Yarrow – Red flowers
- Sneezewort Yarrow – White or pinkish flowers
- Wooly Yarrow – Low growing with Yellow flowers
- Yellow Yarrow – Tall with yellow flowers
There is an undocumented belief that Yarrow is a great companion plant for any herb that will be harvested for its essential oils.
Yarrow does make an excellent living mulch in the garden and has been found to attract the very beneficial hover flies ( look like small bees and eat aphids 🙂 It is also thought to attract predatory wasps and lady bugs.
Yarrow should be encouraged because it is so useful, but can be invasive in a perennial bed. In my yard, I find it best suited to being part of my little wildflower garden.