The Soldier's Woundwort was dedicated to the mighty Achilles, who, it is said, made use of this plant at the siege of Troy to heal the wounds of his soldiers. Mrs. Dana says that it still forms part of the ingredients of an ointment used by the Scotch Highlanders. It was largely used in some localities for making bridal wreaths. The leaves and flowers have been used for almost every ill that flesh is heir to. Yarrow tea is a mild tonic, and the green leaves when steeped in hot water are used in healing bumps and bruises. It has also been used in nosebleed and the green leaves are still used as a styptic in fresh cuts and wounds. In Sweden, Yarrow is used for making beer. Quaint old Gerarde mentions the chewing of the green leaves as a remedy for toothache. Timid people believed that when this plant was carried about the person, it would drive away fear and on this account it was frequently worn in times of danger. Susceptible maidens believe the plant to possess some mystic charm that can reveal their future lovers. And so on. Yarrow is naturalized from Europe and is found in flower everywhere in fields, along roadsides, and river banks from June to November. The erect, round, grooved, leafy stalk which is nearly smooth is single or forked near the top, and grows one or two feet in height from perennial, horizontal rootstocks. The long, narrow leaves are deeply cut into slender, balanced parts, each of which is again cut into very fine fringe. They are curled and feathery, and clasp the stalk at frequent intervals. The strong midrib is covered with whitish hairs on the under side. From four to six small, oblong, three-nicked, usually white ray florets surround the tiny head of perfect yellowish or brownish disc florets, and form the flower head, which sits in a little light green cup. These heads are borne in many small, compact groups which are gathered into one or more large, flat-topped, stiff-branched terminal clusters. Both the leaves and the flowers are pleasantly scented with an aromatic odour. Yarrow is found from coast to coast and is one of our commonest wild flowers.
YARROW. Achillea Millefolium.