( /ækɨˈliːə/) is a genus of about 85 flowering plants
, in the family Asteraceae. The common name "yarrow" is normally applied to Achillea millefolium
, but may also be used for other species within the genus
. They occur in Europe and temperate areas of Asia. A few grow in North America. These plants typically have frilly, hairy, aromatic leaves.
These plants show large, flat clusters of small flowers at the top of the stem. These flowers can be white, yellow, orange, pink or red.
The genus was named for the Greek mythological character Achilles. According to the Iliad, Achilles' soldiers used yarrow to treat their wounds, hence some of its common names such as allheal and bloodwort.
Achillea species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species - see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Achillea.