Common Yarrow
Thousand Leaf - Milfoil - Nosebleed Plant
Achillea millefolium Linnaeus
Asteraceae (Composite Sunflower) Family

Plant is an upright perennial herb which grows in small clumps from a rhizome. Stems and foliage are more or less silky and downy. Yarrow is considered a weed in some areas, but in others has been placed on the threatened species list. Its preferred habitat is disturbed lands, rich humus, and damp roadsides. The Canadians have placed it on the endangered list. Distribution is occasional in the Escambia region.

Leaves are finely divided into short, slender segments and are alternate on the stem.

Flowers are in terminal flat-topped clusters. The colors are white, pink and yellow.

Yarrow was called “Nosebleed Plant” in pioneer times. Primitive medicine dictated that blood-letting be done to rid an ill person of evil spirits (bad blood, if you will). The physician rolled the leaf cigar-like and insert it in the nostril to promote blood flow. However, the blood coagulated in the fine leaves and the process needed to be repeated several times. In due course, it was realized that captured blood in the mesh would easily coagulate and staunch the flow of blood, thus leading to the idea of gauze.

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