Achillea distans

Common Name: Alps yarrow 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Europe
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.25 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Pink to white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Dry Soil


Best grown in evenly moist to dry, well-draining, sandy loams in full sun. Avoid heavy clay soils and moist, rich, fertile soils. Deadhead spent flower heads 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 species by seed. Hardy in Zones 3-8.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Achillea distans, commonly called Alps yarrow, is a stoloniferous, herbaceous perennial native to high altitude, montane and subalpine meadows and rocky slopes in the mountains of central and southeastern Europe. This plant has escaped cultivation and can be found in parts of Australia, western Europe, and the United States. Mature plants will reach between 2-3.25' tall and spread via above ground stolons to form clumps around relatively equal width. The hairy leaves are ovate to lanceolate with finely textured, doubly pinnate lobes and will reach between 1.5-5" long and 0.5-1" wide. Size of the leaves is variable with the largest occurring at the bases of the stems and the smallest at the tops of the stems. The stems are topped by terminal inflorescences in spring and summer. The dense corymbs of small, pink to white flowers can reach up to 4" across.

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.

The specific epithet distans means "separated". What this name is referring to is not clear.


Stem rot, powdery mildew and rust are occasional disease problems. If stems flop or become matted, they can be cut back. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Mixed perennial borders, cottage gardens, and other sunny, drier areas of the garden.