State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Achillea millefolium L.

  • Achillea bicolor Wender.
Vernacular Name
Yarrow, Common Yarrow
Conservation status
No status defined
Value of species
Medicinal plant; Nectar source; Industrial crop
Occurrence: Ab(A, N), Al, Ar, Au(A, L), Be(B, L), BH, Br, Bu, By, Cg, Cs, Ct, Da, Es, Fa, Fe, Ga(C, F), Ge, Gg, Gr, Hb(E, N), He, Ho, Hs(A, S), Hu, Is, It, La, Lt, Lu, Mk, Mo, No, Po, Rf,(C, CS, E, K, N, NW, S), Rm, ?Sa, Si(S), Sk, Sl, Sr, Su, -Sy, Tu(A, E), Uk(K, U), [nAz(F, M, S), cBl(M), Ca(F), nCo, aCy, Le, nMd(M)] (EuroMed, 2018). It is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and North America. It has been introduced as a feed for livestock in places like New Zealand and Australia, where it is a common herb of both wet and dry areas, such as roadsides, meadows, fields and costal places. The several varieties and subspecies include. In New Mexico and southern Colorado, it is called plumajillo (Spanish for 'little feather') from its leaf shape and texture. In antiquity, yarrow was known as herbal militaris, for its use in stanching the flow of blood from wounds. Other common names for this species include gordaldo, nosebleed plant, old man's pepper, devil's nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier's woundwort, thousand-leaf, and thousand-seal. Yarrow grows from sea level to 3,500 metres (11,500 ft) in elevation. The plant commonly flowers from May to July. Common yarrow is frequently found in the mildly disturbed soil of grasslands and open forests. Active growth occurs in the spring. The plant is native to Eurasia and is found widely from the UK to China. In North America, both native and introduced genotypes, and both diploid and polyploid plants are found. It is found in every habitat throughout California except the Colorado and Mojave Deserts. Common yarrow produces an average yield of 43,000 plants per acre, with a total dry weight of 10,500 lbs. Several cavity-nesting birds, including the common starling, use yarrow to line their nests. Experiments conducted on the tree swallow, which does not use yarrow, suggest that adding yarrow to nests inhibits the growth of parasites. Achillea millefolium is a food source for many species of insects. The larvae of the moths Bucculatrix clavenae, B. cristatella, B. fatigatella, B. humiliella, B. latviaella, Cnephasia abrasana, Cochylimorpha elongana, Coleophora argentula, C. carelica, C. ditella, C. expressella, C. follicularis, C. gardesanella, C. millefolii, C. partitella, C. ptarmicia, C. quadristraminella, C. succursella, C. vibicigerella, Depressaria olerella, D. silesiaca, Dichrorampha alpinana (broad-blotch drill), D. petiverella, D. vancouverana (tanacetum root moth), Eupithecia millefoliata (yarrow pug), E. nanata (narrow-winged pug), Gillmeria pallidactyla, Idaea pallidata, Isidiella nickerlii, Loxostege manualis, Phycitodes maritima, P. saxicola, Pyncostola bohemiella, Sophronia sicariellus and Thetidia smaragdaria (Essex emerald) feed on Achillea millefolium in Europe. The larvae of Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria (blackberry looper), Coleophora quadruplex and Sparganothoides lentiginosana (lentiginos moth) feed on A. millefolium in North America. Other species of moths with a more cosmopolitan distribution include Aethes smeathmanniana (Smeathmann's aethes moth), Chloroclystis v-ata (v-pug), Choristoneura diversana, Cochylidia richteriana, Epiblema graphana, Eupithecia succenturiata (bordered pug), E. vulgata (common pug), Jordanita budensis and Thiodia citrana (lemon bell). Beetles. Cassida denticollis, Galeruca tanaceti, Hypocassida subferruginea and Phytoecia virgula are cosmopolitan species of beetles that feed on A. millefolium. Chrysanthia viridissima is a European species whose adults can be found feeding on pollen and nectar. Trichodes ornatus (ornate checkered beetle) is a species found in North America whose adults can be found feeding on A. millefolium. True Bugs. Horistus orientalis is a species of plant bugs that feed on A. millefolium. Wasps. Hedychrum rutilans is a species of cuckoo wasps whose adults can be found feeding on A. millefolium in Europe and North Africa.
Book reference
  • Кузярін О.Т. Судинні рослини території торфовища "Білогорща” (м. Львів) // Наукові основи збереження біотичної різноманітності. - 2010. - Т.1(8), №1. - С.75-90.
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  • Alexander KUZYARIN, Dr, e-mail:

Taxonomic branch

Asteraceae (=Compositae)