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Zones A1-A3, 1-24, 26, 28-45
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Minimal Water

Achillea tomentosa

Woolly Yarrow
Asteraceae (Compositae)
Ground covers, Perennials, Flowers


Among the most carefree and generously blooming perennials for summer and early fall, several being equally useful in the garden and as cut flowers (taller kinds may be cut and dried for winter bouquets). Leaves are gray or green, bitter-aromatic, usually finely divided (some with toothed edges). Flower heads are usually in flattish clusters.

Yarrows do best in well-drained soil. Water established plants occasionally (they tolerate considerable drought once established). Cut back after bloom to encourage rebloom. Divide when clumps get crowded. 

Achillea tomentosa ‘Aurea’ (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Achillea tomentosa ‘Aurea’ (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Achillea tomentosa

This native of Europe and western Asia makes a flat, spreading mat (to about 1 1/2 ft. wide) of fernlike, gray-freen, hairy leaves. Golden flower heads in flat clusters top 6–10-in. stems. Makes a tidy edging or a neat groundcover for small areas; useful in rock gardens. Shear off dead flowers to leave an attractive gray-green mat. ‘Aurea’ (‘Maynard’s Gold’) is vigorous, with large heads of lemon yellow flowers. ‘King George’ is lower growing than the species, with grayer foliage and creamy yellow blooms.

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