Yarrow (A. S. Gearwe), the common name for Achillea millefolium, a plant of the composite family, sometimes called milfoil, introduced from Europe, where, as well as in nearly all parts of this country, it is a common weed, especially around settlements. The genus Achillea belongs to the same subfamily with chamomile, wormwood, tansy, and other strong - smelling composites, and contains a large number of species; the one known as yarrow is a perennial, with a creeping rootstock; the plant appears in spring as a flat dense cluster, 6 to 12 in. across, of finely and beautifully dissected leaves; later in the season there rise from the centre of this simple leafy stems, bearing at the top a dense terminal flat-topped corymb of small white flowers; the few rays are toothed at the apex, and are fertile, as are the whitish disk flowers. Occasionally the flowers are tmged pinkish, and sometimes a deep rose color, a form often found in gardens as A. rosea. The flowers and leaves have a bitter and astringent taste, and an aromatic odor, due to a volatile oil, which when separated by distillation is of a fine blue color. Yarrow was formerly much used as a vulnerary and to suppress internal haemorrhages, and is still occasionally employed as a tonic and astringent.
In some parts of Sweden it is put into beer as a substitute for hops. Though generally regarded as a weed, it appears to possess considerable nutritive properties, and it has been recommended in England as an addition to pastures. The double form of A. ptarmica, or sneezewort, with white flowers, is cultivated, as are also the yellow-flowered A. tomentosa and some others.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).