Sneezewort and Yarrow

Isn’t that a great name for a plant?…

‘Sneezewort’

For me it conjures up images of people in times past sniffing this plant and promptly sneezing, hence giving it its name. Perhaps the wild one does cause sneezing. I am, however, pleased to report that this one does not!

Achillea ptarmica ‘Schneeball’, also known as ‘The Pearl’ or ‘Boule de Neige’.

I only discovered Achillea ptarmica last year, and am very very happy with it. I planted three small plants (9 cm pots) in the Moon Bed in the autumn and they have all produced masses of flowers since mid-June. They should continue to flower all summer.

I am wary about white flowers as I know some can look past their best rather quickly. These seem to look good non-stop. The German and French names perfectly describe the little puffy balls of petals, like snowballs. There is a slight hint of yellow at the centre.

They are about 50 cm tall, not flopping at all despite all our rain and thunderstorms and look as fresh as a proverbial daisy, to which family they actually belong.

The leaves of Achillea ptarmica are not feathery like those of the wild Achillea millefolium (which is profuse in our meadow and runs riot in my beds if permitted!).

According to the nursery where I buy my plants from, it likes a sunny position on damp ground. Well, I was gambling a bit as my garden is usually very dry, but I had hoped with mulch and an occasional extra drink it would be okay. Well, this year has been damp enough for it to thrive and get established without any additional help, so I hope it will stick around.

It is a very bright white that stands out especially well on cloudy days.

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The other Achillea I want to share is the one I used in my vase this past Monday. (See here)

Achillea millefolium ‘Pomegranate’

Achillea millefolium ‘Pomegranate’ resembles its wild friend -that most people know as yarrow – in all but its colour… and its choosiness. It took a few attempts to find the right spot for this plant. It loves heat and sun and doesn’t like to be crowded.

The shade of pinky red is gorgeous and is a great splash of colour on the back of my Butterfly Bed.

In the autumn I shall try putting some in other spots in the garden to see how it fares. Its growth is also a little unruly, but considering the rain and wind we have had I would say that is forgivable. It is a little taller than the A. ptarmica at about 60 or 70 cm.

The flowers opened about mid-June and have lasted well, although they can get a bit singed on an extremely hot day. Unlike A. ptarmica, it definitely does lean, as you can see above.

Do you grow any kind of Achillea? And have you had success with it? Do you see them growing wild?

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!