Come! Ms. Dunlap will give two talks at the CNPS Conservation Conference Feb. 1-3 in LA!

One regarding a database of 3,700 nectar plants (& how to collect images to benefit pollinators), and the other regarding
a prototypical key incorporating a novel plant identification system that produced an order of magnitude improvement.

Achillea alpina

Family: Asteraceae

Common names: MILFOIL, YARROW

Synonym: Achillea sibirica

Native to: Eastern Russia, Eastern Siberia

Sentiment: cure for a broken heart


Type: perennial

Forms: clumping, erect

Max height: 2.5 feet

Max width: 2 feet


white/off white




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: insects, seeds

Exposure: sun

Propagates by: division, seed

flowers in summer

Soil type: wide range

USDA Zones: zone 3 -40 f, zone 4 -30 f, zone 5 to -20 f, zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: -40 to +30 °F

Water: drought tolerant

  • Achillea alpina

Achillea alpina, a drought tolerant perennial, grows to 2 1/2 feet tall, and produces off white flowers in summer.

This plant is attractive to a long list of adult butterflies as well as beneficial insects and birds.

Achillea, also known as YARROW, 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.

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