Yarrow is a herbaceous plant from the Asters family. It can be found everywhere in Central Asia, the Far East and the European part of Russia. Ordinary field varieties attract little attention, except perhaps with soft rugged leaves. You can meet such thickets in the forest-steppe zone, along roads, on stony and sandy hills. Until now, not everyone knows that yarrow has decorative garden varieties with large multi-colored inflorescences. They are most often cultivated in flower beds. Also, the plant is used as a remedy, which is very easy to care for.
Yarrow (Achillea) - perennial herbs with a powerful, well-developed rhizome. It consists of several branched rods and simultaneously develops in the vertical and horizontal planes. The stems are weakly branched from the base. They gradually lignify closer to the root neck. The height of the shoots is 15-50 cm (sometimes up to 1 m). Most often, shoots grow vertically, only sometimes they bend.
Foliage on the yarrow grows densely, it is located next. Petiole leaves have cirrus-dissected and curved plates, painted in bright green or gray-green. The edges of small lobes are serrated.
In mid-summer, the tip of the stem lengthens. A corymbose inflorescence, consisting of many small baskets, blossoms on it. Each basket has a lush yellow-gray core of tubular bisexual flowers and is framed by a row of white or pink reed flowers. The diameter of the basket is 3-20 mm.
Flowers are pollinated by insects and wind. After this, achenes without crests with small oblong seeds ripen. Germination lasts up to 4 years.
Types of Yarrow
The genus of yarrow is quite extensive, it covers more than 150 species of plants.
Yarrow. The inhabitant of the forest-steppe, roadsides and personal plots grows almost without care, like a weed. The root system is highly branched. Upright shoots are covered with fluffy rugged leaves. In June-August, a large shield with white or pink flowers forms at the top. Varieties:
- Paprika - covered with cherry-red flowers;
- Marie Ann - dissolves bright yellow shields;
- Apple blossom - captivates with delicate pink inflorescences.
Yarrow ptarmika. The plant is sensitive to cold and drought. Creeping rhizome is located close to the surface of the soil. Strongly branched stems form a shrub up to 1 m in height. They are densely covered with incised foliage. Dense inflorescences with white or cream flowers bloom in July-August. Varieties:
- Flopped - with terry flowers suitable for cutting;
- Pearl - shoots up to 75 cm in height dissolve terry baskets up to 2 cm in diameter.
Yarrow meadowsweet. Perennials up to 1.2 m tall grow gray-green openwork foliage with cirrus-dissected plates. The diameter of an individual basket is 5 mm. They are grouped into flat corymbose inflorescences up to 13 cm wide. Petals are painted in golden yellow. The flowering period begins in July. Varieties:
- gold plate - a very decorative tall bush with especially dense and dense inflorescences of bright yellow color;
- moonshine - 4-6 cm tall bushes bloom lemon yellow inflorescences.
Seed propagation is suitable only for species plants, so gardeners rarely use it. Much more often you can observe self-seeding. Pre-grown seedlings. To do this, at the end of February, shallow boxes with loose sand and peat soil are prepared. Seeds are distributed on the surface with a distance of 2 cm and only slightly crushed by the ground. The surface is sprayed from a spray bottle. The pot is left in a well-lit and warm place. Shoots appear in 10-15 days. When 2 real leaves grow, seedlings dive in separate peat pots. Further transplantation is carried out with great care, since sensitive roots are easy to damage and destroy the plant. Seedlings need regular watering, when the earthen coma dries up, they quickly die. Planting in open ground is carried out in early May, when the height of the plants is 10-15 cm.
It is very convenient to propagate adult plants by dividing the bush. This procedure is even necessary to prevent aging. Spend it every 2-3 years. The bush is dug up in the middle of spring or at the very beginning of autumn, freed from the soil and cut into small delenki with 1-3 growth points. The resulting plants are planted in fresh soil and watered abundantly.
During the summer, cuttings can be cut from the tops of the side shoots. They are rooted immediately in the open ground, but at first they create a little shading. For 1-2 weeks, cuttings are carefully watered and kept under a transparent cap. The plants are aired daily. After rooting, they are transplanted to a permanent place with a large lump of earth.
Place Selection and Care
Yarrow grows well in an open, sunny area. Only the yarrow ptarmika needs partial shade with protection from midday sunlight. Plants prefer loose, well-drained soils on high ground, where groundwater does not enter. Wild species can grow even on sandy embankments, but decorative yarrow needs more fertile land.
Before planting, the flowerbed is dug and sand and compost are introduced. Too zealous with fertilizers is not worth it. Their excess contributes to the development of green mass, and flowering makes meager and dim. The advantage of the yarrow is that its rhizomes are able to process sulfur contained in the depths of the soil and enrich the soil with it. Depending on the height of the variety, the distance between the bushes is 15-35 cm. After planting, abundant watering is required.
Daily care for adults is very easy. Watering plants should be moderate, with a long absence of rainfall. Irrigation during budding and flowering is most in demand. Stagnation of water in the soil should not be allowed.
For better aeration, the soil is regularly loosened and weeds removed. Tall bushes need a garter, but in an open, sunny place they can do without it, since the stems grow more slowly and become more durable.
Garden varieties are fed with mineral complexes 2-3 times a year. They do this during the period of budding, flowering, and after its completion. Preference is given to universal mineral complexes.
As the inflorescences wither, they are cut off, preventing the ripening of seeds. It is quite difficult to get rid of self-seeding. It must be remembered that the yarrow is an aggressive plant. He needs constant monitoring and limitation.
In autumn, shoots are cut almost to the ground. Shelter and additional plant protection measures are not needed even in harsh winters. The roots are very resistant to cold, and in spring new green shoots appear.
Diseases and pests almost do not bother yarrow. Its growth exudes a subtle, but very unpleasant smell for insects, so the parasites on the bushes do not settle. Moreover, dried stems can be used to repel insects, for example, as a repellent. Yarrow also rarely affects yarrow. Only with improper care and too moist soil does root rot develop. From it helps the treatment with fungicide and compliance with the irrigation regimen.
Use in landscape design
Openwork, soft foliage of yarrow is pleasant to the touch and pleases the look of gardeners. The plant can be used to frame flower beds with bright flowering plants or in the form of accents in the middle of the lawn. Yarrow is planted to fill the space between the bushes, in mixborders and rock gardens. To make the flower bed more saturated, several varieties of yarrow with different colors of inflorescences are usually combined. Also, the company can make him dolphiniums, lavender, sage, echinacea, poppy, chamomile.
Medicinal properties and contraindications
Yarrow is used in official and traditional medicine. The entire plant or only its inflorescences are harvested as medicinal raw materials. The best time to harvest is the early phase of flowering (before darkening of the heads). The healing properties are fresh juice, alcohol tincture and broth.
Yarrow is characterized by antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, wound healing and anti-allergic actions. Most often it is used for problems with the gastrointestinal tract:
- urolithiasis disease;
- smooth muscle spasms;
- liver disease.
Decoctions are taken for inflammatory processes in the biliary and urinary tract, as well as in the female genital organs. In addition, yarrow is added to complex collections that help with headaches, pulmonary tuberculosis. Nursing women take a decoction to improve lactation. If inflammation appears in the mouth, then a high content of tannins will help to quickly get rid of them.
Yarrow has also found application in cosmetology. They wipe problem skin with a tonic, it is good to add a decoction to the bath to calm the nervous system and improve the condition of the skin. To strengthen the hair, they should be rinsed with a yarrow decoction after washing.
Contraindications to taking is the period of pregnancy and a tendency to thrombosis. Excessive use is also undesirable, as it leads to hives and dizziness.