Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Common Name: Soldiers Woundwort, Staunch Blood, Carpenter’s Woundwort, Knight’s Milfoil, Nosebleed, Bloodwort, Old Man’s Pepper, Noble Yarrow, Thousand Leaf, Thousand Seal, Old Man’s Pepper, Devil’s Nettle
Origin: Native to the northern hemisphere
Propagation: Root division or seed
A perennial, ground spreading herb with fragrant fern-like leaves 5-20cm long. Flower stems (white) are 30-60cm in length, often used in dried floral arrangements.
Yarrow will grow in sun or part shade and spreads easily in rich, loose soil. It seems to have a beneficial impact on other herbs and plants nearby as well as attracting beneficial insects, including ladybirds and predatory wasps. Yarrow also has insect repelling properties and can be used with other herbs as a spray on plants. It is also a great addition to your compost heap, working as an ‘activator’ of the composting process.
Prune after flowering.
Fresh yarrow leaves have a peppery taste and can be finely chopped and a little-used in salads, cheese dips or as a garnish. Leaves can even be steamed as used like spinach. Dried leaves, when powdered, add a pepper-like flavouring to your meals.