Achillea tomentosa 'Aurea'

Common Name: woolly yarrow 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky 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 are generally intolerant of hot and humid summers and are not recommended for planting in the southeastern U.S. south of USDA Zone 7 where plants will decline in vigor as summer temperatures increase. 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.

‘Aurea’ flowers may not come true from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Achillea tomentosa, commonly known as woolly yarrow, is an evergreen, mat-forming perennial that typically grows to 6-12” tall spreading to 18” wide or more. It is best known for its yellow flowers, fern-like foliage, fragrance and horizontally-spreading habit. It is native to Europe and western Asia. Numerous small, linear-lanceolate, deeply-dissected, ferny, gray-green leaves are woolly on both sides, twice pinnately divided and consist of small slender segments. Leaves are aromatic (spicy) when bruised. Flower heads (each1/8” across) appear in dense flat-topped clusters (corymbs to 2” diameter). Disk flowers are yellow and ray flowers bright yellow. Flowers bloom from late spring to early autumn.

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.

Specific epithet comes from Latin meaning having dense woolly hairs.

‘Aurea’ has deeper yellow flowers than the species.


Stem rot, powdery mildew and rust are occasional disease problems. Strong summer rain storms with high winds can flatten exposed plantings.


Edging, small area ground cover, rock gardens; planting pockets on stone walls; ground, between walking stones. Containers.