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Yarrow

Yarrow
Achillea millefolium
(Order Asterales, Family Asteraceae)

 

 

Photos by David Sanchez, 2011

Diagnosis:
Height: Total height 20-60 cm (0.6-2.0 feet) tall.
Leaves: Alternate, fern-like, stalked below to sessile above, lanceolate in outline, deeply pinnately divided 2-3 times, 1 to 6 inches long, 0.25 to 1.25 inch wide, gradually reduced above, grayish-green, woolly; margins deeply dissected; fragrant when crushed.
Inflorescences: Cyme-like, flat-topped or rounded, many-flowered, terminal.
Flowers: Heads about 1/4 inch wide; bracts overlapping, margins straw-colored; ray florets usually 5, about 1/10 inch long, white or rarely pinkish; disk florets 10-30, corollas tube-shaped, yellowish to creamy-white.
Fruits: Achenes, oblong, glabrous, flattened, without bristles and scales, enclosing small seed.

Flowering Period:   June-September

Habitat:  Dry prairies, open woodlands, roadsides, and partially disturbed areas.

Forage Value:  Unpalatable to cattle but a fair forage for sheep and deer.

Uses: Native Americans used yarrow for a wide variety of medicinal purposes, including remedies for coughs, colds, throat irritations, toothaches, respiratory diseases, to treat wounds, and to stop bleeding.

Etymology: Yarrow was supposedly named for Achilles of Greek legend, who is said to have used it to treat battle wounds. 

Conservation status: Not threatened

Remarks: Western yarrow is hardy, surviving well during drought conditions.

Distribution:  Throughout Kansas. Native to the United States and broadly distributed in the United States (http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACMI2&mapType=large&photoID=a...)

Links:
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achillea_millefolium
Kingdom Plantae.net:  http://www.kingdomplantae.net/yarrow.php
YouTube: Yarrow Herb, Achillea millefolium, herbs for fever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYX37H5WcFg

References
Haddock, Michael John 2005. Wildflowers & Grasses of Kansas. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence,   Kansas.  127.
Great Plains Flora Association 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. Pp 854.

Image Credits:
Achillea millefolium close-up. Photo by David Sanchez, 2011.
Achillea millefolium pic. Photo by David Sanchez, 2011.

Submitted by: David Sanchez, July, 2011.

Wichita State University
Generated on 2011. This website is continuously updated.
Comments can be sent to Mary Liz Jameson.
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