Composite Family (Compositae)
Season: Spring/Summer/Early Fall
Habitat: Montane to Subalpine
Height: Up to 50 cm
Description: This common wildflower is easy to spot. It has alternately arranged clasping leaves. The leaves are intricately cut so that they almost look like ferns. In fact the species name millefolium literally translates to "1000 leaves" because of this intricate leaf structure. The leaves are up to 4 cm long. At the top of the plant, 10-30 tiny flowers are arranged in a dense cluster, individually at the end of short branches. Often, the top of the cluster is almost flat or umbrella shaped. The flowers have between 3 and 5 petals, or ray florets. The plant also has a distinct scent, much like the unrelated sage.
The genus "Achillea" comes from Achilles, as it was this, or a closely related plant, that was used to heal his soldiers. Natives used teas made of yarrow to induce labour in pregnant women.