Information on Yarrow

Common Name: Yarrow
Scientific Name: Achillea millefolium
Irish Name: Athair thalĂșn
Family Group: Asteraceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Yarrow is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

Strongly aromatic, downy perennial of pastures, roadsides and waste places throughout Ireland, from June until November this plant carries its numerous flower heads in 6-10cm flat-topped umbel-like clusters to 50cm high.  Each little flower (4-6mm across) is comprised of yellowish-cream disc florets and pinkish-white ray florets  The leaves of this plant are very beautiful – millefolium meaning thousand leaf – dark green and feathery, with numerous very fine slightly jumbled leaflets. This is a native plant and belongs to the family Asteraceae.

I first identified this flower in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow in 1976 and photographed it in the same valley in 2006. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

For safety when going on a journey.  'Pull 10 leaves of the yarrow and throw one leaf away put the 9 others in a white cloth and tie it with a string around your neck.

If this is done anyone that is going on a journey will return safe and won't have any accident or see any evil spirits.  If going to a fair with an animal and having this around your neck you are certain to sell the animal and get a good price. Or if buying an animal good luck always follow it'.  

From the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin. NFC 782:350.  From Kerry

Yarrow was known as herbal militaris for its use in staunching the flow of blood from injuries and Achilles, the Greek warrior, was reputed to have had it applied to wounds made in bloody battle.