[Histonet] Yarrow


Common yarrow, or Achillea millefolium,  spreads rapidly from underground
rhizomes - plants placed two feet apart will fill in within one year. The
mat-like, dark green finely divided ferny foliaged plants will take over any
ground available and likes sunny average soil not partcularly rich. It is
relatively drought tolerant. It is not a good border plant but is very
useful for sunny dry waste places where a flowering groundcover would be
useful. This achillea and A.  ptarmica are invasive while the other species
such as A. filipendulina, grandifolia,  and tomentosa are well behaved clump
formers, often with attractive glaucous (blue gray) and fuzzy foliage.
Achillea has been used as a toothache remedy in Europe (1440) and was mixed
in ale instead of hops to increase inebriation. It was said to grow in
churchyards as a a reproach to the dead  who "might not have died had they
taken their daily yarrow", and was used to heal wounds- Achilles (Achillea)
supposedly used it to stauch the wound of his soldiers.  I am unaware of any
histological use for the herb, except perhaps to staunch the wounds of
disposable blades or broken lurking coverslip fragments.

Jeff Silverman- Plantsman
Southside Hospital
Bay Shore NY

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