This month we are celebrating the local Western Yarrow, Achillea millefolium a member of the Sunflower Family.
The western yarrow is a diminutive gray- to green-leaved perennial ranging from Mendocino County the Baja California. It is part of the coastal sage scrub community, but found in more inland areas as well on the Central Coast. Though it can become quite drought resistant, it prefers slightly less arid north-facing slopes.
The young plants have a dense matting of woolly hairs along their deeply lobed leaves giving the plants a woolly, gray appearance. In early spring the plants produce beautiful white, sunflower-like flowers on the ends of branches. These continue to bloom until mid-summer when the plants begin to dye back to their woody base and disappear until the first rains of the fall.
Thewestern yarrow was used by Native Americans as a tea that was thought to help stomach problems. It was also ground into a poultice and applied to the skin for inflammation and to help stop bleeding.
In a garden environment this cold-hardy, drought tolerant plant is a good filler for dry borders where its fine texture compliments grasses, wildflowers, and bold-leaved shrubs. It will become quite leggy unless deadheaded and pruned. It also makes a nice cut flower. Wetsern Yarrow can be spotted throughout our native garden.
Come celebrate the official opening of the Guadalupe Native Garden on August 2nd from 1pm-3pm with fun family activities and an educational exhibits! Check out this event!