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FutureStarrWhite Yarrow Plantor
Achillea millefolium (White Yarrow) is a graceful perennial wildflower which produces an abundance of huge, flat clusters, 5 in. across (12 cm), packed with 20-25 creamy-white flowers. They are borne on tall stems atop a pleasantly aromatic, green, fern-like foliage that is disease resistant. Both flowers and foliage are attractive and long-lasting, making White Yarrow a wonderful garden plant and a great choice for prairie or meadow plantings. Achillea, commonly known as Yarrow, belongs to the Asteraceae family, which also includes asters, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers. The genus was named after Achilles, hero of the Trojan Wars in Greek mythology, who used the plant to stop the bleeding and heal the wounds of his soldiers. Achillea millefolium (Common Yarrow) is native to most of Europe and temperate parts of western Asia. Brightening the garden throughout the summer, this perennial plant is versatile, easy to propagate and available in a wide range of sizes and colors.
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. Yarrow is a common plant that has naturalized in all counties of Illinois (see Distribution Map). It is also cultivated in flower and herb gardens. Habitats include mesic to dry prairies, pastures, fallow fields, grassy waste areas, and edges of paths, yards, or hedges. Disturbed areas are preferred; Yarrow persists in native habitats to a limited extent. Yarrow was introduced into the United States from Europe as an ornamental and medicinal plant. However, a Western form of this species that is smaller in size and woollier in appearance may be native to North America.
The nectar of the flowers attracts many kinds of insects, especially flies and wasps. Among the flies are such visitors as bee flies, Syrphid flies (including Drone flies), Thick-headed flies, Tachinid flies, Flesh flies, Anthomyiid flies, and others. Halictid and other short-tongued bees occasionally visitor the flowers, where they suck nectar and collect pollen. Sometimes Mordella spp. (Tumbling Flower Beetles) are found on the flowerheads. Because the foliage of Yarrow has a bitter and biting taste, it is rarely consumed by most mammalian herbivores. However, sheep will eat it when the opportunity arises. Among members of the Aster family, the fern-like foliage of Yarrow is rather unusual and it has a distinctive odor. Other members of the Aster family with this kind of foliage include Anthemis spp. (Mayweeds), Matricaria spp. (Chamomile), and Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy). Species of Mayweed and Chamomile produce daisy-like flowerheads that are much larger than the flowerheads of Yarrow; their flowerheads have more ray and disk florets. Tansy is a larger plant with medium to dark green foliage. While its flowerheads are about the same size as the flowerheads of Yarrow, they are bright yellow and lack ray florets. (Source: www2.ic.edu)