Yarrow Colors and Varieties

Discover the tough-as-nails beauty and variety in the yarrow clan.
Achillea millefolium ~Summer Pastels~ (02) Bloomleaf

Achillea millefolium ~Summer Pastels~ (02) Bloomleaf

Achillea millefolium 'Summer Pastels'

Tap into the native-inspired beauty of yarrow. A common wildflower, yarrow (Achillea millefolium) has transitioned artfully from meadows and roadsides to the perennial garden. Plant breeders have capitalized on yarrow’s ability to crossbreed, creating a host of yarrow varieties and yarrow colors. All of these hardy bloomers share the common traits of low maintenance, drought tolerance and pest-free personalities.

Most yarrow varieties are hardy to Zone 3 and usually flower during high summer, after roses kick out their first flush of blooms and before Russian sage starts. No matter their parentage, yarrow varieties share the common trait of beautiful, fern-like foliage. The finely divided leaves give the plants an eye-catching appearance that looks good in and out of bloom. 

Yarrow colors encompass much of the rainbow. The true native species is a white yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Its flowers open white to gray in much of its range, although blooms take on a pink hue at higher elevations. Common white yarrow (Achillea millefolium) boasts a vigorous, truly robust plant that stands up to heat, drought, winter cold and lean soil. The plant can be invasive, though, spreading via underground stems. 

But it’s the common white yarrow that has birthed a host of amazing yarrow colors. Some of the interesting color shadings include ‘Paprika’ yarrow, with flowers that open in hues of orange-red. Each bloom has a yellow center that creates a strong contrast with petals. ‘Terracotta’ yarrow brings shades of rusty orange that echo its namesake. For a red yarrow, try ‘Fire King’, which opens rich red blossoms. These particular hybrids form clumps that grow 24 to 30 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. 

For a pink yarrow, check out ‘Appleblossom’, with pale lilac blooms that have white centers, or ‘Christel’, with bright magenta pink flowers. More pink yarrow types include ‘Pink Grapefruit’, which opens clear pink blossoms, and ‘Pomegranate’, with deeper reddish pink flowers. You’ll find lovely pastel pink yarrow in the ‘Summer Pastels’ mix, which displays a variety of other bloom colors, including salmon, cream, apricot and lavender. 

Golden yarrow is available in a host of different yarrow varieties, including ‘Coronation Gold’. This striking golden yarrow was introduced in 1952. Its name pays homage to Queen Elizabeth II’s rise to the throne of England. You’ll often see this golden yarrow paired with purple bloomers in the garden, such as Salvia ‘May Night’ or Russian sage.

Although all yarrow varieties boast strong heat tolerance, ‘Colorado’ was specifically created to withstand the intense heat of higher elevations. This group of yarrow varieties features several yarrow colors, including yellow, red, white and pink. The flower colors don’t fade over time, which occurs with many yarrow varieties. These plants grow to a shorter, more compact height (18 to 24 inches), while still bearing the delicately ferny leaves.

Tap into the native-inspired beauty of yarrow. A common wildflower, yarrow ( Achillea millefolium) has transitioned artfully from meadows and roadsides to the perennial garden. Plant breeders have capitalized on yarrow’s ability to crossbreed, creating a host of yarrow varieties and yarrow colors. All of these hardy bloomers share the common traits of low maintenance, drought tolerance and pest-free personalities. 

Most yarrow varieties are hardy to Zone 3 and usually flower during high summer, after roses kick out their first flush of blooms and before Russian sage starts. No matter their parentage, yarrow varieties share the common trait of beautiful, fern-like foliage. The finely divided leaves give the plants an eye-catching appearance that looks good in and out of bloom. 

Yarrow colors encompass much of the rainbow. The true native species is a white yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Its flowers open white to gray in much of its range, although blooms take on a pink hue at higher elevations. Common white yarrow (Achillea millefolium) boasts a vigorous, truly robust plant that stands up to heat, drought, winter cold and lean soil. The plant can be invasive, though, spreading via underground stems. 

But it’s the common white yarrow that has birthed a host of amazing yarrow colors. Some of the interesting color shadings include ‘Paprika’ yarrow, with flowers that open in hues of orange-red. Each bloom has a yellow center that creates a strong contrast with petals. ‘Terracotta’ yarrow brings shades of rusty orange that echo its namesake. For a red yarrow, try ‘Fire King’, which opens rich red blossoms. These particular hybrids form clumps that grow 24 to 30 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. 

For a pink yarrow, check out ‘Appleblossom’, with pale lilac blooms that have white centers, or ‘Christel’, with bright magenta pink flowers. More pink yarrow types include ‘Pink Grapefruit’, which opens clear pink blossoms, and ‘Pomegranate’, with deeper reddish pink flowers. You’ll find lovely pastel pink yarrow in the ‘Summer Pastels’ mix, which displays a variety of other bloom colors, including salmon, cream, apricot and lavender. 

Golden yarrow is available in a host of different yarrow varieties, including ‘Coronation Gold’. This striking golden yarrow was introduced in 1952. Its name pays homage to Queen Elizabeth II’s rise to the throne of England. You’ll often see this golden yarrow paired with purple bloomers in the garden, such as Salvia ‘May Night’ or Russian sage. 

Although all yarrow varieties boast strong heat tolerance, ‘Colorado’ was specifically created to withstand the intense heat of higher elevations. This group of yarrow varieties features several yarrow colors, including yellow, red, white and pink. The flower colors don’t fade over time, which occurs with many yarrow varieties. These plants grow to a shorter, more compact height (18 to 24 inches), while still bearing the delicately ferny leaves.
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