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Achillea millifolium 'Paprika'

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

There are a number of cultivars of A. millifolium, but 'Paprika' stands out for me thus prompting this separate post. The facts below are very similar to the non-cultivar species except for the dusty-rose flower color and its shorter height when in bloom.

The photo below is a good representation of what you will find in the nurseries, with its upright stems and not too much else going on. This yarrow is good for meadow applications, where it can weave itself in and around other plants. Containers, too, and certainly beneficial to pollinators.

There are other cultivars that merit our attention, such as 'Terracotta', so make sure and research whichever desirable colors work with your design.



Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium

Achillea: Honoree, mythological warrior Achilles, who used yarrow extract to heel wounds.

Millefoium: Having many leaves (or leaflets). For this species, the leaves have a fine texture.

Common Name: Common yarrow; milfoil

Family Name: Asteraceae

Origin: Native; Northern Hemisphere

design considerations

Positioning: Foreground, under foot (infrequently), allowed to move freely

Garden Themes: Native/Mediterranean/dry, cottage/informal, pollinator, wildflower, rain

Uses: Meadow/prairie, habitat, container, cut flower (fresh or dried), mass, border, edging, ground cover, lawn substitute (with limitations), green stormwater infrastructure

identifying characteristics

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Form: Mat, basal, erect clump

Texture: Fine

Size: 8" tall and spreading, but to 2' tall when in bloom

Outstanding Feature(s): Flower

Stem: Gray, gray-green, silver; underground rhizomes


  • Type: Pinnately compound (tetraploid, with leaflets arranged three dimensionally)

  • Arrangement: Alternate

  • Shape: Oblong

  • Margin: Entire

  • Color: Gray-green, light green, silver

  • Surface: Feathery

Flower: Summer to Autumn. Showy, dense compound corymbs, dust-rose fading to copper or pink.

Fruit: Autumn. Tiny achenes, readily viable

cultural requirements, tolerances & problems

Sunset Zones: A1-A3; 1-24

USDA Zones: 3-9

Light: Full sun

WUCOLS SF Bay Area Hydro Zone: Low (non-cultivar species; Medium for cultivars)


  • Texture: Sand, loam, clay

  • Moisture Retention: Well-drained

  • pH: Highly acidic to highly alkaline

Tolerances: Drought

Problems: May become invasive

  • Branch Strength: N/A

  • Insects:

  • Disease: Stem rot, powdery mildew, rust,

citations & attributions

Bayton, R. (2019). The Royal Horticultural Society's the Gardener's Botanical: An Encyclopedia of Latin Plant Names. London: Mitchell Beazley.

Calscape. "Common Yarrow." California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. Accessed on August 17, 2021, from

Fire Effects Database System. "Achillea millefolium." United States Department of Agriculture, Washington D.C. Accessed on August 17, 2021, from

Norris Brenzel, K. (Ed.). (2012). The New Sunset Western Garden Book. New York: Time Home Entertainment, Inc.

Plant Finder. "Achillea millefolium." Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis. Accessed on August 17, 2021, from

Plant Finder. "Achillea millefolium 'Paprika'." Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis. Accessed on August 30, 2021, from

Water Use Classification of Landscape Species. "WUCOLS IV Plant List." University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Davis. Accessed on August 17, 2021, from


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