Achillea sibirica var. camtschatica 'Love Parade' is an upright, tufted, perennial yarrow that is native to Siberia. It has been developed from a newly introduced botanical variety from Kamchatka, a peninsula in the far north-east of Russia.
It typically grows 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in) tall by 35 to 45cm (14 to 18in) wide and blooms from June to September with dense clusters of large flat-topped soft pink flowers with pale yellow stamens. The clusters grow to around 10cm (4in) across.
Achillea sibirica is very different from the common yarrow, Achillea millefolium. The blooms are more compact than the blowy umbels of its cousin, with more distinct daisy flowers and the leaves are quite unlike any other Achillea, glossy, dark green and serrated. Rather fleshy and fern-like, they remain attractive throughout the growing season.
This superior yarrow species forms neat clumps and rarely needs division. Trim back hard after the first flush of bloom to maintain a compact habit. It is is hardy to minus 40°C (-40°F), prefers a position in full sun to part shade and does well in relatively poor, well-drained sandy soils.
Very easy from seed, the flower heads are long lasting, blooming throughout the main summer season and highly attractive to bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. They are suitable for pots or containers and for supplying attractive cut flowers. The flowers are as gorgeous when dried as they are fresh.
Sowing: February to June or September to October.
Sow the seeds on the surface of lightly firmed, moist seed compost in pots or trays. Cover seed with only a light sprinkling of compost or vermiculite as light aids germination. Water from the base of the tray, Place in a propagator or warm place, ideally at 15 to 20°C (59 to 68°F). Keep the compost moist but not wet at all times. Germination 5 to 10 days.
Prick out each seedling once it has its first set of “true” leaves and transplant into 7.5cm (3in) pots containing free-draining compost and grow them on in frost free conditions until large enough to plant outside. Plant out in well drained soil in full sun.
Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost has passed. Overwinter autumn sown plants in frost-free conditions before planting out the following spring. Plant 30 to 60cm apart.
Transplant to full sun and light soil; if the soil is rich, the stems get floppy. The plants dislike wet ground, particularly during winter. Improve heavy soil conditions by adding coarse grit or sharp sand prior to planting.
Achillea is a very easy plant to care for and once established is reasonably drought tolerant. In summer, stake the flower stems of tall varieties with canes or brushwood before the flowers appear to prevent them drooping in wet weather.
Blooming is prolonged by regular removal of faded flower stems. Cut down to the ground in late winter, but resist the urge to do this earlier, as the seed heads look lovely in the winter light. Lift and divide large clumps in late autumn or early spring.
In very heavy soils cut flowering stems off at ground level in late September to early October to allow the plants to bulk up at the base and thereby get through the winter more easily.
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.
Coastal, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower Arranging, Borders and Beds, Dry or Gravel Garden, Prairie Planting, Wildlife Gardens. Low Maintenance.
In the garden, yarrow is said to increase the health of nearby plants and will intensify the flavour of herbs grown near it. It is also a good compost activator.
Its flowers attract many beneficial insects, including ladybirds and parasitic wasps that prey on garden pests, in particular aphids. Ants do not like the smell; crushed leaves can be used as a deterrent.
Several cavity-nesting birds, including the common starling, use yarrow to line their nests. Experiments suggest that adding yarrow to nests inhibits the growth of parasites.
Achillea is used for making natural dyes and will give a range of yellow, tan and green colours.
Yarrow has a great medieval herbal history, and has been used in medicine and magic for centuries.
It was commonly used to flavour beer before the introduction of hops, and it still flavours vermouth and bitters.
Yarrow was used by the Chinese as a herb of divination, the I Ching was originally thrown not with coins but with dried yarrow stalks.This plant has often been a device for divining the identity of one's future lover.
In the past, yarrow was used as a protectant. It was strewn across the threshold to keep out evil and worn to protect against hexes. It was tied to an infant's cradle to protect it from those who might try to steal its soul. The Saxons wore amulets made of this plant to protect against blindness, robbers, and dogs….among other things!
Achillea sibirica var. camtschatica is a species of Achillea that is native to Kamchatka, a peninsula in the far north-east of Russia. The species is from Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula while 'Love Parade' is an improved selection that is of garden origin.
Kamchatka is known as the magic land of volcanoes and geysers. Located closer to Los Angeles rather than to Moscow, Kamchatka peninsula can be reached by air only. Simply said, it is more convenient for Americans than for Moscovites to travel there.
Kamchatka was closed for tourists for military reasons, since Russians explored it in the 17th century. Half of the territory of the peninsula is still controlled by the Army. However nowadays most the main tourist sights: volcanoes, hot springs and the valley of geysers are open to foreign tourists.
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.
Yarrow has been used for thousands of years to staunch the flow of blood and for other medical purposes, In antiquity, yarrow was known as herbal militaris or soldier’s herb, nosebleed plant, and soldier’s woundwort.
The species name sibirica means 'of or from Siberia'.
The variant name camtschatica refers to Kamchatka, a peninsula in the far north-east of Russia.
Common names include the Siberian Yarrow and the Kamchatka Yarrow.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 50mg Average Seed Count 150 seeds Family Asteraceae Genus Achillea Species sibirica var. camtschatica Cultivar Love Parade Common Name Siberian Yarrow, Kamchatka Yarrow Other Common Names Thousand-leaf or Thousand-seal. Hardiness Hardy Perennial Hardy Hardy to minus 40°C (-40°F) Flowers Flat-topped soft pink flowers with pale yellow stamens. Natural Flower Time June to September Foliage Dark green, finely divided, fern-like leaves Height 45 to 60cm (18 to 24in) Spread 35 to 45cm (14 to 18in) Position Full sun to partial shade Soil Well-drained/light, Moist, Sandy Time to Sow February to June or September to October. Germination 5 to 10 days at 15 to 20°C (59 to 68°F).