Midsummer is when you find out what your garden is made of: decorative dilettantes or savvy survivors. The yarrow cultivar ‘Apricot Delight’ (Achillea millefolium ‘Apricot Delight’) sails through the heat test, the drought test, the less-than-perfect soil test, and the ain’t-got-time-to-weed test to produce a pretty, lacy display of dusty pink blooms. This cultivar, introduced by Blooms of Bressingham in 2007, is in the Tutti Frutti series. Yarrow in this series are bred to have a compact but full shape, as wide as it is tall. In January 2008, having seen what this cultivar can do, Gardening How-To editors chose the newest yarrow from the series (‘Pomegranate’) as one of the best plants of the year.
Common name: ‘Apricot Delight’ yarrow
Botanical name: Achillea millefolium ‘Apricot Delight’
Plant type: Perennial
Zones: 4 to 8
Height: 21 to 22 inches
• Sun: Best color in full sun; tolerates light shade
• Soil: Average, well-drained; tolerates poor soil
• Moisture: Average to dry
• Mulch: Mulch to preserve moisture in the soil.
• Pruning: Deadhead to encourage continued blooming.
• Fertilizer: None needed.
• By division.
Pests and diseases
• Aphids can be a problem.
• Rust or powdery mildew can appear.
• Butterflies like yarrow flowers; bunnies may nibble the leaves.
• ‘Apricot Delight’ is excellent as a cut flower.
• With regular deadheading, yarrow may bloom until September.
• The pale pink shades of ‘Apricot Delight’ are gorgeous paired with deep purple blooms of catmint, lobelia, or cranesbill geraniums.
• Common yarrow (A. millefolium) can become invasive, but its cultivars are thought to be better behaved.
• The Tutti Frutti series also includes the cultivars ‘Pink Grapefruit’ (bright pink-purple blooms), ‘Pomegranate’ (rich red blooms), and ‘Wonderful Wampee’ (hues from deep pink to blush).
• Look also for yarrows in the Seduction series (they have the same tough qualities but a taller and more vase-shaped habit): ‘Saucy Seduction’ (rose-pink flowers); ‘Sunny Seduction’ (yellow blooms); and ‘Strawberry Seduction’ (deep red flowers with gold centers).
All in the family
• Other members of the Asteraceae family include asters, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers (Helianthus spp.).
• Other yarrows common in the garden include cultivars of A. filipendulina, as well as crosses between species.
(Text by Elizabeth Noll, photo of Achillea millefolium ‘Apricot Delight’ courtesy of Blooms of Bressingham)