Achillea Tomentosa Aurea, also known as the Woolly Yarrow is a low growing perennial. Technically an evergreen shrub, it grows mainly as a stalked clump with short upright stems. This herbaceous perennial produces showy yellow blooms, sometimes reaching over 15 cm in height, making it one of the smaller varieties of Yarrow. The ferny leaves are long, mid green in colour, and have soft hairs on their surfaces. The interesting, bright yellow flowers have something of a flat-topped inflorescence, caused by a corymb type expression.
With a general origin across the northern hemisphere, the name Achillea is derived from the belief that Achilles, a pupil of the centaur Chiron, used it for its medicinal value. A winner of the RHS Golden Merit Award, Achillea Aurea uses range from a medicinal herb to a cut flower or as a dried flower. Achillea Aurea is classified as a nitrogen fixer, attracts honey bees and resists Deer.
Of the Genus Achillea, the species Achillea tomentosa in general is classified as a mat-forming perennial with linear and finely divided woolly leaves that have a grey to grey-green colour and flat clusters of yellow flowers that bloom from early summer to early autumn.
Achillea Tomentosa Aurea will reach an ultimate height of 0.35 metres and a spread of 0.45 metres after approximately 2-5 years. It is fairly well suited across a wide range of soils, other than extremely wet and waterlogged conditions. The Woolly Yarrow is known for its tolerance to bony, rocky, dry conditions making it quite drought tolerant. When grown in cultivation, it is advisable to provide a moist soil environment, but the soil should be well drained. It can grow well in a wide range of pH’s, from 4.5-8-5. It likes sunshine but can grow well in partial sun also. A good rule of thumb is an aspect of South or East or West. It can tolerate exposure, and also sheltered positions. The Woolly Yarrow is considered hardy, to Zone H-4 in the UK and Ireland.
The roots of Achillea propagate from rhizomes, so left uncontrolled, it can be invasive and will spread, making it a good choice in a ground cover use. Recommended uses are as a border flower, in a cottage or informal garden; as an edging plant; in rock gardens, or even gravel gardens. In an area planting for wildlife, bees, and butterflies; it can grow in patches of beautiful unique showy flowers as well.
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