Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for American Yarrow - Achillea borealis   Bongard
Members of Asteraceae:
Only member of Achillea in NC.
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Section 6 » Family Asteraceae
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DistributionThroughout the state. Common Yarrow is one of our most widely distributed plant species, but is scarce in poor sandy soils.

Throughout North America, and into Mexico.
AbundanceCommon to locally abundant.
HabitatMostly disturbed sites, such as dry to mesic roadsides, yards, fields, cultivated ground, pastures, and waste places. Also in more natural sites, such as rock outcrops, grassy balds, and woodland openings.
See also Habitat Account for General Successional Fields and Forblands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April-October.
IdentificationNo doubt familiar to most naturalists, Common Yarrow stems are mostly 1-2 feet tall, with a terminal, flattish, white inflorescence and alternate, 2-3 times pinnately dissected leaves. The leaves are cut into a pattern that is unique in our flora, even finer than in nearly all ferns, more like a green bird feather.
Taxonomic CommentsThe Achillea millefolium complex is distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere and has resisted attempts to classify it. Weakley (2018) cites a 2009 publication that splits off North American plants and we follow his lead. Though most references consider the species as a non-native one in most of the East, Weakley (2018, 2020) and others consider it native. Apparently the earliest name for the native entity is A. gracilis Rafinesque; we will wait to see if this name is accepted by the botanical gurus.

Other Common Name(s)Common Yarrow, Boreal Yarrow
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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