Achillea tomentosa L.

woolly yarrow

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

A low-growing plant often used in rock gardens, woolly yarrow is native to Eurasia, but can be invasive elsewhere, as it tolerates dry, low-nutrient soils. In New England, however, it has only been collected in the waste area of a nineteenth century wool carding factory in Massachusetts.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats)

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
Massachusetts
Leaf type
leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower type in flower heads
the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
Ray flower color
yellow
Tuft or plume on fruit
there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
Spines on plant
the plant has no spines
Leaf blade length
Up to 80 mm
Disk flower number
  • 11-20
  • 21-50
  • 6-10
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bract color
    the bracts are not colored or tinged with pink, red or purple
    Bract cycle number
    there are three or more cycles of bracts
    Bract outer side hair type
    the bracts are hairy, with simple hairs on their outer surface
    Bract outer side hairs
    the bracts are hairy on their outer surfaces
    Bract shape
    the main bracts are lanceolate (widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip)
    Bract spines
    the bracts have no spines
    Bract tip color
    the tips are a different color from the center of the bract
    Disk flower lobe number
    5
    Disk flower number
    • 11-20
    • 21-50
    • 6-10
    Disk flower reproductive parts
    the disk flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Flower head number
    each flowering stem has four or more flower heads on it
    Flower head outer flowers
    at the outer edge of the flower head, each flower has a single enlarged lobe or strap
    Flower head platform
    the base has papery scales on it
    Flower head platform surface
    the scales are slightly hairy, at least near the top
    Flower head position
    some or all the flower heads are grouped in clusters of two or more
    Flower head profile
    the disk is flat or nearly flat across the top
    Flower head shape
    • the flower head is hemispherical (like the bottom half of a sphere)
    • the sides of the flower head are roughly parallel, like a cylinder
    Flower type in flower heads
    the flower head has tubular disk flowers in the center and ray flowers, these often strap-shaped, around the periphery
    Inflorescence shape
    the inflorescence is flat-topped in profile
    Inflorescence stem
    the stem of the inflorescence is not hairy
    Ovary cross-section
    the ovary is compressed (flattened)
    Ovary hair type
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary hairs
    the ovary has no hairs on it
    Ovary lines or ribs
    • there are three lines or ribs visible on the ovary
    • there are two lines or ribs visible on the ovary
    Ovary profile
    • in profile, the ovary is oblong (roughly rectangular but rounded at the ends)
    • in profile, the ovary is roughly egg-shaped, but widest above the middle
    Peduncle length
    2–5 mm
    Ray flower color
    yellow
    Ray flower reproductive parts
    the ray flowers have carpels or stamens, but not both
    Ray flowers
    • 1-5
    • 6-10
    Ray length
    1.2–2 mm
    Reproductive system
    some of the flowers on the plant have only carpels or stamens, while others have both carpels and stamens
    Style branch number
    the style has two branches
    Style branches
    the style branch is wider at the tip and has a flattened end, or the style branches are wider at the tips and have flattened ends
    Width of flower head base
    2–4 mm
  • Fruits or seeds
    Dispersal unit
    the seeds fall off or are dispersed separately from one another
    Number of pappus parts
    0
    Ovary length in developed fruit
    1–2 mm
    Seed hair tuft bases
    NA
    Seed hair tuft color
    NA
    Seed hair tuft details
    NA
    Seed hair tuft length
    0 mm
    Seed hair tuft tips
    NA
    Seed hairs uniform
    NA
    Seed tuft scale number
    0
    Seed tuft type
    there is no pappus on the ovary
    Tuft or plume on fruit
    there is no plume, or the plume is made up of scales, awns, a crown, or a rim
  • Glands or sap
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant has one or more free-standing stems
    Plant lifespan
    the plant is perennial, it shows evidence of previous year's leaves, stems or stem bases
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Final leaf segment width (compound lvs only)
    Up to 1 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    • the leaf has a distinct petiole
    • the leaf has no petiole
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade flatness
    NA
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade has tangled or woolly-looking hairs
    Leaf blade length
    Up to 80 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    Leaf blade veins
    the leaf blade has one main vein running from the base towards the tip
    Leaf disposition
    the leaves are nearly similar in size, prominence of teeth, and length of stalks throughout the stem
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf stalk
    • the leaves have leaf stalks
    • the leaves have no leaf stalks, but attach directly to the stem
    Leaf tip extension
    NA
    Leaf type
    leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    At least 15
    Specific leaf type
    • the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis
    • the leaf has a row of two or more lobes on each side of the central axis, and each lobe itself has rows of lobes on each side of the lobe's central axis
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant has a pleasant odor, such as licorice, fruit or resin
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Stem internode hair direction
    the hairs point mostly upwards to outwards
    Stem internode hair type
    • at least some of the hairs on the stem have glands
    • the hairs on the stem are plain, without glands or branches, and not tangled
    Stem internode hairs
    the stem has hairs between the nodes

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Achillea filipendulina:
with final divisions of leaves 1.5-8 mm wide and stems hairy but not with woolly hairs (vs. A. tomentosa, with final divisions of leaves usually narrower than 1 mm and stems hairy with woolly hairs).

Family

Asteraceae

Genus

Achillea

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

5.  Achillea tomentosa L. E

woolly yarrow. MA. Wool waste.