Achillea filipendulina 'Cloth of Gold'

Common Name: fern-leaf yarrow 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil


Best grown in lean, dry to medium, well-drained sandy loams in full sun. Does well in average garden soils and tolerates poor soils as long as drainage is good. Avoid heavy clays and moist, rich, fertile soils. Plants tolerate hot and humid summers with some drought. Plants are best sited in locations protected from strong winds. Deadhead spent flower heads to lateral buds to promote additional bloom. Cut plants back to basal leaves after flowering to tidy the planting and to encourage possible additional fall bloom. Divide clumps when they become overcrowded (every 3-4 years). Propagate by seed, cuttings or division.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Achillea filipendulina, commonly known as fern-leaf yarrow, is an upright, clump-forming yarrow that is native to the Caucasus, Iran and Afghanistan. Deeply-dissected, 1-2 pinnatifid, hairy, fern-like, aromatic (spicy) green leaves (each leaf to 10" long and divided into as many as 15 pairs of linear-lanceolate toothed segments) form an attractive basal clump of foliage. Tiny, long-lasting, bright golden flowers (yellow rays and yellow discs) appear in dense flattened plate-like compound corymbs (to 4" across) throughout summer on stiff, erect stems rising above the foliage to 3-4' tall.

The genus name Achillea refers to Achilles, hero of the Trojan Wars in Greek mythology, who used the plant medicinally to stop bleeding and to heal the wounds of his soldiers.

'Cloth of Gold' is a stiff, erect plant which features yellow, plate-like, dense, terminal flower clusters (corymbs) and elegant, deeply-cut, fern-like, deep green leaves. Foliage has a spicy odor when crushed. Good cut or dried flower. Long summer bloom period may be extended by prompt removal of faded flower heads.


Stem rot, powdery mildew and rust are occasional disease problems. Strong summer rain storms with high winds can flatten exposed plantings. Staking of flower stems is often required, particularly if plants are grown in overly rich fertile soils.


Specimen, group or mass. Borders. Cottage gardens. Containers.