Yarrow Facts

Yarrow Facts
Yarrow is herbaceous plant that belongs to the family Asteraceae. This plant originates from the northern hemisphere (Europe, Asia and North America), but it can be found all over the world today. Yarrow can survive in various habitats: forests, meadows, grasslands, mountains, coastal areas and even deserts. This plant reproduces quickly and easily occupies new habitats (acts like invasive species). Yarrow is mainly cultivated because of its healing properties and as an ornamental plant. Other than that, yarrow is beneficial in gardening and it can be used to prevent erosion.
Interesting Yarrow Facts:
Yarrow has one or more stems that can reach 0.66 to 3.28 feet in height.
Yarrow has feathery leaves that are usually 2 to 8 inches long. Leaves are covered with tiny hairs and spirally arranged on a stem.
Yarrow develops miniature white, reddish or pink flowers arranged in terminal inflorescences, shaped like rounded or flat heads. They are usually 2 to 4 inches wide. Flowers smell like chrysanthemum. Yarrow blooms from May to June. Flowers attract butterflies, ladybugs and hoverflies.
Yarrow produces nut-like fruit called achene which contains one seed.
Yarrow can be propagated via seed and parts of the stem.
Scientific name for the yarrow is Achillea millefolium. Plant is named after Greek's hero Achilles, who used yarrow to treat battle wounds of his soldiers.
Yarrow is also known as carpenter's weed because carpenters often use it to stop the bleeding from the wounds and cuts that are inevitable part of their work.
Yarrow was used as food in the 17th century. Leaves were prepared and consumed like spinach. Yarrow was also used as an ingredient of soups.
Synonym for yarrow is "Poor man's pepper" because it has bitter and pungent taste. It even alters the taste of cow's milk (it becomes bitter) when cow eats too much yarrow.
Combination of yarrow, marsh rosemary and sweet gale was used for the production of beer known as gruit ale during the medieval times.
Essential oils extracted from yarrow are often used in treatment of influenza and common cold. These oils need to be taken with caution because they may trigger severe allergic reactions on the skin and even induce miscarriage in pregnant women.
Yarrow can be used in a treatment of rheumatism, toothache and sore throat. It also stimulates circulation, regulates menstrual cycle and eliminates excess water from the body (acts like diuretic).
Yarrow is beneficial for the gardeners because it improves quality of the soil and repeals certain types of insects (pests).
Birds such as common starling use yarrow when they build nests. Nests made of yarrow do not contain parasites.
Yarrow is perennial plant which means that it can survive more than two years in the wild.

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