Achillea millefolium

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaAsteraceaeAchilleaAchillea millefolium


A perennial herb found in all kinds of grassland habitats, ranging from lawns to montane communities irrigated by melting snow-beds; also found on coastal sand dunes and stabilised shingle, waysides and waste ground. It tolerates drought, and grows in most soils except the most nutrient-poor, permanently waterlogged or strongly acidic. 0-1210 m (Ben Lawers, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

Eurasian Boreo-temperate element, but naturalised in N. America so distribution is now Circumpolar Boreo-temperate.

© S. Hammonds

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 1

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1103

Life form information

Height (cm): 45

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary


Comment on Life Form

"The height refers to the flowering stem, not the low rosettes that overwinter"



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2774

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 968

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: 0.29

Weighted Changed Factor: -59

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (283a)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger EJ
1992.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 3. 2 vols.
Warwick SI, Black L
1982.  The biology of Canadian weeds. 52. Achillea millefolium L. s.l. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 62:163-182.