Achillea ‘Apple Blossom’

Achillea 'Apple Blossom'

The beautiful pink blossoms of the Achillea 'Apple Blossom' plant are native to locales in the Northern Hemisphere. These regions in Asia, Europe, the UK and North America have moderate climates. After it was cultivated as livestock feed in Australia and New Zealand, it became a wild flower there, growing freely.

This stunning flowering plant can grow and thrive in both moderate and dry terrain. The Achillea 'Apple Blossom' is a leafy herbaceous plant with clusters of bright pink flat-petal blossoms. As a perennial, this plant lives at least two years, appearing to die in the late autumn. It then experiences regrowth from its roots in the spring, flourishing and flowering again.

This hearty plant with its many delicate flower clusters often grows to a height of 3.28 feet. The botanical family name of Achillea is from the character of Achilles in Greek mythology. He was said to carry this plant when his army went into battle to treat the warriors' wounds.

Due to its healing abilities, this plant became known by multiple names, including 'bloodwort,' 'staunchweed' and 'herbe militaris.' Because of its capacity to stop bleeding from the nose, it was commonly called 'nosebleed.' This plant was also known as 'old man's pepper' based on its strong flavor, and in Sweden, it was called 'field hop' due to its popular use in brewing beer.

Although the popular name 'yarrow' usually refers to the Achillea millefolium plant, the bloodwort is also called yarrow. This is because both plants originate from the botanical family name of Asteraceae and the genus (subfamily) of Achillea. Both have healing properties and a sweet, captivating scent similar to chrysanthemums.

Acanthus Mollis (Bear's Breech)

Acanthus Mollis (Bear’s Breech)

How the Achillea 'Apple Blossom' Plant Benefits Modern Agriculture

This staunchweed plant is of great benefit as a companion plant in agriculture today. While attracting helpful insects to gardens and farmlands, it also repels harmful pests. The blossoms attract insects such as predatory wasps. These wasps feed on the nectar of the flowers and insect pests, feeding such pests to new wasp larvae.

Achillea 'Apple Blossom'

These field hop plants also attract beneficial ladybugs, which are known for preying on crop-destroying aphids. Bloodwort plants also can be used to help prevent soil erosion in farmland. Since this plant is drought-resistant, it is often planted in pastures and fields to boost grass and crop growth.

Another reason for including yarrow in grass mixtures of pasture land is the rich minerals contained by its roots. This versatile herbe militaris plant has the capacity to enrich soil for growing healthy crops. It can also ensure that grasslands provide high mineral levels for nutritional grazing by cattle and sheep.

Yarrow plants grow best at elevations from sea level to 11,500 feet, and they typically bloom from May to July. They can grow in open grasslands or meadows and in somewhat open forests. Healthy apple blossom grows at the rate of 43,000 plants per acre, which yields a dry weight of 10,500 pounds.

Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' (Bugleweed)

Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’ (Bugleweed)

How Birds and Insects Gain Advantages from Yarrow

Both birds and insects gain valuable advantages from yarrow plants, such as the following:

  • Nesting Birds. Birds building cavity nests like the starling often line their nests with nosebleed. Studies of these birds have revealed that bloodwort included in nest construction can inhibit the occurrence of parasites.
  • Moths. In Europe and North America, the larvae of many types of moths feed on yarrow, gaining valuable nutrients.
  • Beetles. Some varieties of adult beetles in Europe feed on both the nectar and pollen of staunchweed. The checkered beetle (trichodes ornatus) common to North America consumes yarrow regularly.
  • True Bugs. These plant bugs commonly include yarrow as a part of their diet.
  • Wasps. Across temperate areas of North America and Europe, adult cuckoo wasps often feed on bloodwort.

Major Aspects of Cultivating Achillea Apple Blossom Plants

Many plant nurseries and greenhouses today cultivate yarrow as an ornamental plant. The beautiful pink to white blossom clusters of the plant offer vibrant and desirable lawn and sunny garden decor. Landscapers favor the use of staunchweed plants due to their drought tolerance properties and fast spreading capability.

Achillea 'Apple Blossom'

For proper germination, nosebleed seeds need light. For this reason, it is best to use shallow planting for the seeds. Ultimate-quality germination can be achieved if seeds are planted no more than a quarter-inch below the ground surface. For the best germinating results, the surrounding temperature should be maintained at 18 to 24 degrees C (64 to 75 degrees F).

Staunchweed plants are especially popular for landscaping lawns and gardens in regions that experience dry weather conditions. Even during the height of the growing season, yarrow plants can withstand droughts or dry periods. They are a good choice even if your locale only experiences occasional dry growing seasons.

The fact that they are perennials also makes these herbal plants attractive and practical for landscaping projects. Their elegant yet hearty flowering clusters in shades from vibrant pink to pale pink and white also offer stunning color. Herbe militaris plants are equally at home in a well-groomed cultivated setting and in a wildflower garden.

Achillea millefolium 'Paprika' (Yarrow 'Paprika)

Achillea millefolium ‘Paprika’ (Yarrow ‘Paprika)

Historical Uses of Bloodwort as a Natural Medicine and Healing Agent

Throughout history, from ancient times until today, yarrow has been used for its astringent properties as well as for healing wounds. This versatile herb has also been used to induce heavy perspiring as a means of cleansing the body and treating fevers. Ayurvedic medical practitioners in India used the plant to treat intestinal disorders.

Achillea 'Apple Blossom'

In North America, Navajo Indians chewed the staunchweed plant to cure toothaches and used it to alleviate earaches. They also considered this herb to be a health-promoting agent for supporting a long life. The Pawnee tribe used the stalk of the field hop plant as a pain reliever, and the Cherokees drank yarrow as a tea to promote healthy sleep.

Zuni communities in New Mexico and Arizona chewed field hop roots and blooms before "fire-eating" ceremonies. They also applied nosebleed juice to their feet before walking through fire. The Ojibwe people in northern regions of the Midwestern U.S. states and in southern Canada heated yarrow leaves on hot stones, inhaling the aroma to cure headaches and fevers.

Today, staunchweed can be purchased as an essential oil. Aside from its sweet aroma and healthy effects, this herb can also be used as a dye for wool. It produces various shades of green and yellow-green as a coloring agent for yarn, threads and woven woolen fabrics.

Apple Blossom Plants in Folklore of the British Isles

In legends and folklore of the British Isles, the apple bloodwort plant has varied uses and significance. In Scotland, a leaf of this herb was placed over the eyes to promote extrasensory perception (ESP). In Sussex county, England, yarrow was used as an agent for finding a true sweetheart.

Achillea 'Apple Blossom'

In Soffolk county, England, individuals were known to place an apple blossom plant leaf inside the nose to induce bleeding. At the same time, they recited:

"Green 'arrow, green 'arrow, you bears a white blow,
If my love love me, my nose will bleed now;
If my love don't love me, it 'on't bleed a drop,
If my love do love me, 'twill bleed every drop."

Acanthus Mollis (Bear's Breech)

Acanthus Mollis (Bear’s Breech)

Helpful Tips for Growing Your Own Apple Blossom Plants

Nosebleed is an excellent plant for your garden. It is also equally suitable for growing in outdoor flower urns or pots. Since this plant's initial growth is vertical, it is an ideal choice for a "thriller" plant in a gardener's "spiller-thriller-filler" formula. It will stay in the center of your urn while smaller "filler" plants and others that "spill" over pot edges surround it.

Achillea 'Apple Blossom'

A healthy yarrow plant can reach a height of approximately 32 to 36 inches when fully grown, spreading about 32 inches. For this reason, you need to plan for repotting these plants as they grow and mature. Under healthy conditions, an apple blossom plant can live and flourish for about 10 years.

To reach maturity as a strong healthy flowering plant, the bloodwort needs plenty of direct sunlight. It grows well in moderate to dry locations or cultivating conditions, thriving in poor-quality soil. This flowering herbal plant tolerates pollution well in urban areas, including inner-city surroundings.

Why This Yarrow Plant Is Ideal for Xeriscaping

The apple blossom yarrow plant is an ideal choice for xeriscaping. This practice involves structuring landscapes to lessen or eliminate the necessity for irrigation. Contemporary landscapers around the globe are offering this service as an important landscaping feature, especially in dry regions.

Using xeriscaping, these landscapers replace dried lawns that once were grassy with rocks, new soil, mulch and drought-tolerant plants. These plants include myrtles, staunchweeds and daffodils. Such plants and others that can easily adapt and thrive in arid climates are referred to as xerophytes.

Abelia x grandiflora (Glossy Abelia)

Abelia x grandiflora (Glossy Abelia)

Additional Tips for Growing Healthy Apple Blossoms

A few more tips for the best growing results for your bloodwort plants this year include the following:

  • Cultivate your staunchweed plants in normal or sandy soil or clay.
  • Use planting soil with a pH that is neutral, alkaline or acid.
  • Keep soil relatively dry, and refrain from over-watering plants.
  • Ensure that plants have full and direct sun exposure.
  • When planting your yarrow in urns or pots with other plants, place the field hop in the center to accommodate early vertical growth.


The Achillea 'Apple Blossom' is a beautiful and fascinating plant for your garden. It is also ideal for use as a lawn or walkway bordering plant. The lovely clusters of flat blooms ranging from radiant pink to pale pink and white greatly enhance homes and gardens.

This intriguing plant has also been used throughout history for multiple natural health treatments and aids. This highly attractive yarrow plant has even been reported to have supernatural properties, according to folklore. It has also been used to predict the fate of sweethearts as recorded in local legends and poetry.