Achillea millefoliumAsteraceae
Whole Plant
Whole PlantFlowerFlowerFruit
Photos (c) Cheryl Comeau Beaton unless otherwise noted


  • Common yarrow
  • Achillea magna

The Plant:

  • An herbaceous perennial, 1-3 feet tall. Stem is unbranched or stiffly branched at the top.

The Leaves:

  • alternate or basal rosettes
  • aromatic
  • finely divided
  • fern-like
  • soft, matted wool or short hairs, or hairless
  • lower leaves lanceolate to oblanceolate, long petioles
  • upper leaves lanceolate to linear, sessile
  • gray-green

The Stem:

  • leafy
  • short, soft hairs

The Flowers:

  • Many small five-petaled flowers in yellow, white, or pink. Arranged in flat-topped terminal corymbs.

The Fruits:

  • achenes
  • green turning brown

The Habitat:

  • gardens, roadsides, moors


  • seeds are carried short distances by wind
  • reproduces vegetatively by rhizomes
  • wildflower seed (intention component or contaminant)

Key ID Features:

  • finely divided leaves
  • gray-green
  • fern-like texture
  • aromatic
  • flat topped
  • white

Similar Species:

  • Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) has finely divided leaves that are true green, not hairy, with distinct spaces between leaf divisions. Yarrow leaves are densely feather-shaped and gray-green, appear felted, and are very fragrant.


  • The flat topped inflorescences resembles those of Queen Anne's Lace, whose inflorescences can be distinguished by the presence of a dark central spot.

Growth Form: Herb

Origin: Europe, Western Asia

Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Likely Invasive

Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Not evaluated

Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: no

Credits: The Electronic Field Guide to the Invasive Plants of Nantucket (c) 2005-2006 Maria Mitchell Association, EFG Project, UMass Boston