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Achillea millefolium is often confused with:
Tanacetum vulgare Tanacetum vulgare
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Monarda didyma plant with Lantana camara 'Miss Huff' in summer in Moore County
Leucanthemum vulgare Leucanthemum vulgare
Salvia farinacea Salvia farinacea 'Victoria Blue'

Milfoil Achillea millefolium

Other plants called Milfoil:

Phonetic Spelling
uh-KILL-lee-ah mil-lih-FOE-lee-um
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Introduced to America from Europe in colonial times, this perennial prefers well-drained soil and full sun.  It is often found naturalizing in fields and along roadsides.  It is a wonderful wildlife plant that attracts butterflies.   Makes excellent cut or dried arrangements. Very easy to divide.  This plant is moderately salt tolerant. Plants can spread aggressively by rhizomes and they self-seed regularly.  After initial bloom, it can be dead-headed back to a lateral flower bud to encourage rebloom.  Generally considered too weedy to use in borders but works well as a flowering ground cover in meadows, prairies, and naturalized areas. It can even be a lawn alternative in sunny areas with little foot traffic. It can be unattractive by the end of summer after it blooms and can be pruned back severely or mowed with a rotary mower on the highest setting in naturalized areas.  Large clumps should be divided as necessary to maintain healthy and vigorous growth and performance and reduce disease.  Cultivars cover a range of flower colors including pinks, reds, creams, yellows and bicolor pastels.

The finely divided, pinnatifid to decompoundly pinnatifid, leaves give the plant a soft fern-like texture, making it attractive even when the erect flowering branches are not in season; bloom is from mid to late summer, into early fall; tendency to spread in beds.

Family name Asteraceae (Compositae)

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Stem rot, powdery mildew are rare.  Stems can be weak. Wind and rain can flatten plantings, spreads aggressively.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves pinnatifid, fern-like in appearance.
    • Inflorescence terminal, small heads in dense umbel.
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Peachy Seduction'
    Peachy-pink Color
  • 'Red Velvet'
    Fade resistant red flowers
  • 'Salmon Beauty'
    Salmon-pink flowers that fade to creamy yellow
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#red#white#sun#yellow#partial shade#summer#spring#perennial#herbs#wildlife plant#wildflowers#weedy#fragrant leaves#nectar plant#cut flowers#salt tolerant#lawn alternative#cottage garden#meadow#ncemgva2018#cpp#naturalizes#pollinator plant#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Peachy Seduction'
    Peachy-pink Color
  • 'Red Velvet'
    Fade resistant red flowers
  • 'Salmon Beauty'
    Salmon-pink flowers that fade to creamy yellow
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#red#white#sun#yellow#partial shade#summer#spring#perennial#herbs#wildlife plant#wildflowers#weedy#fragrant leaves#nectar plant#cut flowers#salt tolerant#lawn alternative#cottage garden#meadow#ncemgva2018#cpp#naturalizes#pollinator plant#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Achillea
    Species:
    millefolium
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used for medicinal purposes by Native Americans to break a fever, soothe a rash, or treat hemorrhaging or stomach aches. The genus was named for the Greek Trojan War hero, Achilles, who was said to use this plant to treat his wounded soldiers.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, western Asia, North America
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies and bees.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edibility:
    Leaves are bitter, but can be eaten raw or cooked.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 10 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herb
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Head
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    June to September numerous long-lasting tiny flowers in corymbs. Minute; ray flowers white, red to pink, yellow; more
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Dried
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Narrowly oblong to lance-shaped aromatic with a strong spicy aroma. Deeply divided fern-like, medium green foliage. In a basal rosette with cauline leaves alternate, simple, pinnatifid and deeply divided, petioles elongate on lower leaves to sessile on upper leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Humidity
    Pollution
    Salt
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Increased urination, vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Achilleine and alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves