Achillea ptarmica “The Pearl” flowers in only three months from seed. Elegant sprays of pure white single and double, pom-pom flowers are borne over a long period above finely toothed, dark green leaves. It spreads to form a natural mound and is equally happy as a bedding plant annual or as a hardy perennial for the herbaceous border.
A favourite of Edwardian garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, it is excellent for the middle of a sunny, well-drained border, especially when planted as a large drift and looks great with a backdrop of evergreens. The flowers are suitable for fresh cutting and also for drying.
Long flowering and drought-tolerant, this is a unique, easy and reliable plant to add to any border.
Achillea ptarmica ‘The Pearl’ was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 1999.
Sowing: Sow February to June.
Sow the seeds into cells or pots containing good quality seed compost. Sow on the surface and do not cover, as light aids germination of seeds.
Water from the base of the tray and place in a propagator or warm place, ideally at 18 to 22°C (65 to 70°F) Keep the compost moist but not wet at all times.Germination 7 to 14 days.
Prick out each seedling once it has its first set of “true” leaves, transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays to grow on. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost has passed into well drained soil 30cm apart
Cut back stems as the blooms fade for further flowers. Divide plants in March to May
Low Maintenance, Cottage/Informal, Drying, Flower Arranging, Beds and borders, Prairie planting, Rock gardens
Use cut flowers as a filler like Gypsophila (Baby's Breath). Cut when the flowers are well open but before the oldest flowers on the stem start to show signs of browning. Rain can damage the quality of the flowers, so cut back poor quality stems and wait for a second flush.
To dry, hang upside down in a warm (not hot) place with good air circulation. Drying too fast at high temps can cause browning, but drying too slowly may result in colour loss on the stems and leaves and give a less fresh appearance.
Achillea is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to the Northern Hemisphere.
Named by Linnaeus, its name is said to derive from Achilles. Homer’s hero in the Iliad, who was well-trained in healing wounds as well as in causing them. He was reputed to have used it to staunch the bleeding wounds of his soldiers.
The name ptarmica comes from the Greek word ptairo and means “causes sneezing”. As the name implies, this plant offered sneezing as a remedy for those with stuffy heads. Named in warning for hay fever sufferers.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 250mg Average Seed Count 875 Seeds Family Asteraceae Genus Achillea Species ptarmica Cultivar The Pearl Common Name Sneezewort Other Common Names Fair Maid of France Other Language Names IR - Lus corráin. FR - Achillee. Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers White Natural Flower Time June to August Foliage Glossy, Dark Green, deeply cut Height 60 to 90 cm (24 to 36in) Spread 30 to 40 cm (12 to 15in) Position Full sun to partial shade