(Also known as Yarrow)
Above: Achillea 'Terracotta', Achillea ptarmica 'The Pearl', Achillea 'Paprika'
Achilleas are stately plants with broad, flat heads of colourful, small, round, papery flowers that range from pale yellow, through orange to rich magenta-red. Some varieties have flowers that start one colour and gradually change to another as the centre of the flowers get bigger, giving the whole plant an attractive two-tone appearance.
The flowers are carried on lightly leafed, stiff stems that can be rigid or gently arching. These spring from a clump of pretty, finely feathered leaves that can be grey or mid green. When crushed them between the fingers a gentle aroma of thyme is emitted. Some varieties will creep around the border, while others are form neat clumps.
Where they come from
Europe including the UK where they grow wild in grassland.
Where to grow
In well-drained soil including dry, poor soils in a sunny situation
Above: Achillea 'Pretty Belinda', Achillea 'White Beauty', Achillea 'Moonshine'
How to care for
Dividing: every two or three years to maintain vigour
Other problems: some Achilleas can be short lived, particularly Achillea millefolium types and those that have this in the breeding of them. The longest lived are those with stiff leaves such as Achillea filipendulina
Above: Achillea 'Peachy Seduction' with Salvia x sylvestris 'Schneehugel', Achillea 'Terracotta' & A. 'Forncett Fletton' with Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker' & Echinops bannaticus 'Taplow Blue', Achillea 'Gold Plate'
They look good with