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Achillea ageratum
(sold as Moonshine)

Family: Asteraceae

Common names: MILFOIL, SWEET YARROW, SWEET-NANCY, YARROW

Native to: Portugal, Western Mediterranean

Sentiment: cure for a broken heart

Plant

Type: perennial

Forms: clumping, erect, open form, rosette

Leaves evergreen

Max height: 2.75 feet

Max width: 2 feet

Flower

yellow

Leaf

green, light

Horticulture

Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, beneficial insects, bird, specific butterfly species

Bird species attracted to plant: flycatcher, jay, martin, oriole, phoebe swallow, sparrow, swift

Plant part consumed by birds: seeds

Plant features: evergreen

Exposure: part shade, sun

Landscape uses: cut flower, deer resistant, dried flower, foliage aromatic

Propagates by: division, seed

flowers in fall

flowers in summer

Soil type: loam

USDA Zones: zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: 0 to +30 °F

Water: drought tolerant

  • Achillea ageratum 'moonshine'  weg0026
  • Achillea ageratum moonshine 626 0003
  • Achillea ageratum moonshine 626 0004 2
  • Achillea ageratum moonshine 626 0004
  • Achillea ageratum moonshine 626 0005
  • Achillea ageratum moonshine 626 0009

Achillea ageratum (sold as Moonshine), SWEET YARROW, SWEET-NANCY, is a drought tolerant evergreen perennial, grows to nearly 3 feet tall, and produces yellow flowers in summer and fall. It can be grown in Zones 7-9. It can be grown either in the ground or in a container.

This plant is attractive to a long list of adult butterflies as well as beneficial insects and birds.
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Achillea, also known as YARROW or MILFOIL, is a drought tolerant member of the Asteraceae family. There are 184 species of YARROW of which ten are perennials that range in height from one to three feet and grow in Zones 3-10. Over a dozen cultivated Achillea are in this database – all are drought tolerant perennials that range in height from 1 foot to 3 feet tall. Achillea ptarmica, grows to 5 feet tall.

Achillea attract a long list of specific butterflies and is a worthy addition to a wildlife friendly garden. Sightings support that Achillea millefolium attract the most diverse butterfly species but these sightings may be due to the popularity or availability of the plant, rather than proof that other cultivated YARROW species are less attractive to a broad range of butterflies.

According to the USDA “common yarrow is a weedy species and can become invasive. Proper care should be used to control the spread of the plant from its desired growing location.” Its invasive attribute may contribute to it being beneficial to wildlife. It is claimed the cultivars are less invasive. You may want to check how the parent plant behaves is in your region before purchasing any variant of A. millefolium.

Bird species attracted to the plant - to feed on insects and seeds - include flycatcher, jay, martin, oriole, phoebe swallow, sparrow, swift.