About Achillea millefolium ‘Paprika’ (Paprika Yarrow)
This interesting looking perennial is known as Achillea millefolium ‘Paprika’. Its flowers are compound corymbs consisting of 20 or more individual florets in shades of red with yellow centers that climb 18″ above its grey-green foliage. The specific epithet millefolium means “thousand-leaved” in reference to the highly dissected foliage. The yarrow type leaves grow from the base of the plant fanning out much like the leaves of a fern making its overall average landscape size reach 1-2′ by 2-3′. Flowers begin to bloom in late spring lasting throughout the summer season aging from their bright red to cream and finally to brown. While most commonly known as Paprika Yarrow, this perennial has a large number of additional common names, including milfoil, thousand leaf, soldier’s woundwort, bloodwort, nose bleed, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, old-man’s-pepper and stench grass. This plant invites birds, bees and butterflies and has been known to be a deer deterrent. For those who like freshly cut flowers, Achillea millefolium is an excellent source.
Yarrow has an interesting history in herbal medicine. It is cited most often as a topical treatment for wounds, cuts and abrasions. The mythical Greek character Achilles was reported to have taken it on campaign with his army to treat battle injuries, hence the genus name Achillea.
Care and Planting Instructions
Paprika Yarrow grows best when planted using moist but well-draining soil in an area that receives full sun. Water regularly to establish a healthy root system then reduce frequency. Generally known to be a low maintenance plant, no pruning is necessary but to keep its appearance fresh you should deadhead the flowers once spent.
Landscape Design Ideas
Achillea millefolium ‘Paprika’ is a great plant variety to use for mass plantings on medians or on a sunny hillside. Its interesting look makes it a great option as a border in rock or cottage garden type landscapes planted among other perennials like Lavandula stoechas ‘Otto Quast’ or Salvia greggii ‘Red’. This yarrow is at home with other meadow or prairie plants such as: butterfly milkweed, rudbeckia daisies, purple coneflower and native grasses.
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