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General Description

"Milfoil, achillée [for Greek god Achilles, who is supposed to have used the plants to treat his wounds]

Perennials [subshrubs], 6–80 cm (usually rhizomatous, sometimes fibrous rooted or taprooted; usually aromatic). Stems 1(–4+, clustered), usually erect, branched mostly distally, glabrous or sparsely to densely lanate (hairs usually basifixed). Leaves basal (often withering before flowering) and cauline; alternate; petiolate or sessile (bases ± clasping); blades (cauline equaling basal or slightly smaller distally) linear to oblong-lanceolate, usually 1–2[–4]-pinnately lobed, ultimate margins entire, abaxial faces sparsely to densely lanate, adaxial faces glabrate to sparsely tomentose. Heads radiate [discoid], in compact to open (± flat-topped), simple or compound, corymbiform arrays [borne singly]. Involucres campanulate to hemispheric, mostly 2–3(–5+) mm diam. Phyllaries persistent, 10–30 in (1–)2–3(–4) series, oblong, ovate, or oblanceolate to lanceolate (midribs conspicuous), unequal, margins and apices (pale to black) scarious. Receptacles usually flat to slightly convex, rarely conic, paleate; paleae membranous, ± folded (sometimes each with central resin duct). Ray florets [0] 3–5(–12+), usually pistillate and fertile; corollas usually white (laminae yellow at bases), sometimes pale yellow to pink or purple (tubes ± flattened), laminae orbiculate to suborbiculate (becoming reflexed). Disc florets usually (5–)15–75+, rarely 0, bisexual, fertile; corollas white to grayish or yellowish [yellow, pink], tubes ± flattened (bases ± saccate, clasping apices of cypselae), throats ± campanulate, lobes 5, ± deltate. Cypselae obcompressed, oblong to obovate (margins sometimes winged, apices rounded); ribs usually 2, lateral (sometimes plus 1 adaxial), faces glabrous (pericarps with myxogenic cells, sometimes with resin sacs; embryo sac development monosporic). x = 9.

Species ca. 115 (4 in the flora): subtropic to temperate and arctic regions of North America and Eurasia.

Centers of diversity for Achillea are in Europe and Asia. Achillea ageratum, A. distans, and A. ligustica have been reported as occurring in North America. Labels on herbarium specimens examined indicated that those reports were based on cultivated plants; there is no evidence that any of the three has become established in our flora. Achillea filipendulina may be persistent or established in California (F. Hrusa et al. 2002) and in Michigan (E. Voss 1972–1996, vol. 3).

Achillea includes aromatic herbs with diverse vegetative morphologies. Floral characters show much less variation. Some species are widely cultivated both in Eurasia and North America. Interspecific hybridization has made identifications difficult and has evidently contributed to long lists of synonyms for some species.

Plants of Achillea contain secondary metabolites with purported therapeutic and pharmacologic uses. Native Americans used the plants to treat earaches, diarrhea, and hemorrhages."

Trock, Debra K. “Achillea millefolium” in Flora of North America, Vol. 19, p. 493. Oxford University Press, Inc.,  New York, NY.  2006.

Author(s): Trock, Debra K.
Rights holder(s): Trock, Debra K.

Taxonomic Children

Total: 150

Achillea abrotanoides (Vis.) Vis., Achillea absinthoides Halácsy, Achillea acuminata (Ledeb.) Sch. Bip., Achillea aegyptiaca L., Achillea ageratifolia (Sibth. & Sm.) Benth. & Hook.f., Achillea ageratum L., Achillea aleppica DC., Achillea alexandri-regis Bornm. & Rudsky, Achillea alpina L., Achillea ambrosiaca (Boiss. & Heldr.) Boiss., Achillea apiculata, Achillea arabica Kotschy, Achillea armenorum Boiss. & Hausskn., Achillea asiatica Serg., Achillea aspleniifolia Vent., Achillea atrata L., Achillea aucheri Boiss., Achillea auriculata Willd., Achillea baikalensis Fisch., Achillea bandana Buch.-Ham., Achillea barbeyana Heldr. & Heimerl, Achillea barrelieri (Ten.) Sch. Bip., Achillea biebersteinii Afan., Achillea biserrata M. Bieb., Achillea boissieri (Hausskn.) Hausskn. ex Boiss., Achillea brachyphylla Boiss. & Hausskn., Achillea bucharica C. Winkl., Achillea callichroa Boiss., Achillea cappadocica Hausskn. & Bornm., Achillea carpatica Blocki ex Dubovik, Achillea chamaecyparissus Sch.Bip., Achillea chamaemelifolia Pourr., Achillea cheilanthifolia Sommier & Levier, Achillea chrysocoma Friv., Achillea clavennae L., Achillea clusiana Tausch, Achillea clypeolata Sm., Achillea coarctata Poir., Achillea collina (Becker ex Rchb. f.) Heimerl, Achillea condensata Miq., Achillea conferta DC., Achillea cretica L., Achillea crithmifolia Waldst. & Kit., Achillea cucullata Hausskn. ex Bornm., Achillea cuneatiloba Boiss. & Buhse, Achillea decolorans Schrad., Achillea decumbens Lam., Achillea distans Waldst. & Kit. ex Willd., Achillea erba rotta, Achillea erba-rotta All., Achillea eriophora DC., Achillea euxina Klokov, Achillea falcata L., Achillea filipendulina Lam., Achillea formosa (Boiss.) Sch.Bip., Achillea fraasii Sch. Bip., Achillea fragrantissima (Forssk.) Sch. Bip., Achillea glaberrima Klokov, Achillea goniocephala Boiss. & Balansa, Achillea grandifolia Friv., Achillea gypsicola Hub.-Mor., Achillea haussknechtii Boiss., Achillea heterophylla, Achillea holosericea Sm., Achillea horanszkyi Ujhelyi, Achillea huber-morathii Rech.f., Achillea impatiens L., Achillea incognita Danihelka, Achillea inundata Kondr., Achillea japonica Heimerl, Achillea japonica Sch.Bip., Achillea karatavica Kamelin, Achillea kellalensis Boiss. & Hausskn., Achillea ketenoglui H.Duman, Achillea kotschyi Boiss., Achillea laggeri Sch.Bip., Achillea lanulosa Nutt., Achillea latiloba Ledeb. ex Nordm., Achillea ledebourii Heimerl, Achillea leptophylla M. Bieb., Achillea leptophylloides Prodan, Achillea lereschei Sch.Bip., Achillea ligustica All., Achillea lingulata Waldst. & Kit., Achillea lycaonica Boiss. & Heldr., Achillea macrophylla L., Achillea magnifica Heimerl ex Hub.-Mor., Achillea maritima (L.) Ehrend. & Y.P.Guo, Achillea maura Humbert, Achillea membranacea (Labill.) DC., Achillea micrantha M. Bieb., Achillea micranthoides Klokov, Achillea millefolium L., Achillea milliana H.Duman, Achillea mirantha, Achillea mollis Andrz. ex Trautv., Achillea monocephala Boiss. & Balansa, Achillea multifida (DC.) Boiss., Achillea nana L., Achillea nobilis L., Achillea obscura Nees, Achillea occulta Constantin. & Kalpoutz., Achillea ochroleuca Ehrh., Achillea odorata L., Achillea oligocephala DC., Achillea oxyodonta Boiss., Achillea pachycephala Rech.f., Achillea pacifica Rydb., Achillea phrygia Boiss. & Balansa, Achillea pindicola Hausskn., Achillea pseudoaleppica Hub.-Mor., Achillea pseudopectinata Janka, Achillea ptarmica L., Achillea ptarmicifolia (Willd.) Rupr. ex Heimerl, Achillea ptarmicoides Maxim., Achillea pyrenaica Sibth ex Gordon, Achillea rhodoptarmica Nakai, Achillea roseoalba Ehrend., Achillea rupestris Huter & al., Achillea salicifolia Besser, Achillea santolinoides Lag., Achillea schischkinii Sosn., Achillea schmakovii Kupr., Achillea schneideri Rouy, Achillea schugnanica C.Winkl., Achillea sedelmeyeriana Sosn., Achillea sergievskiana Shaulo & Shmakov, Achillea setacea Waldst. & Kit., Achillea sieheana Stapf, Achillea sinensis Heimerl, Achillea sintenisii Hub.-Mor., Achillea sipikorensis Hausskn. & Bornm., Achillea spinulifolia Fenzl ex Boiss., Achillea stepposa Klokov & Krytzka, Achillea styriaca Saukel & Danihelka, Achillea talagonica Boiss., Achillea taygetea Boiss. & Heldr., Achillea tenuifolia Lam., Achillea teretifolia Willd., Achillea tomentosa L., Achillea umbellata Sm., Achillea valesiaca Suter, Achillea vermicularis Trin., Achillea virescens (Fenzl) Heimerl, Achillea wilsoniana (Heimerl) Hand.-Mazz., Achillea ×albinea Bjelcic & K.Malý, Achillea ×graja Beyer, Achillea ×illiczevski Tzvelev, Achillea ×submicrantha Tzvelev, Achillea ×subtaurica Tzvelev


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