Achillea millefolium ‘Sonoma Coast’ (White Yarrow)
If you’ve ever walked along any of the Central or Northern California coastal dunes trails, you may have come across a lovely plant called Achillea millefolium ‘Sonoma Coast’. This Achillea is native to the Sonoma Coast of California and is wonderfully adapted to coastal conditions such as cold winds and salt spray, however it also thrives inland if planted in full morning to mid-day sun and afternoon shade.
This easy to grow perennial has a compact growth habit of 12” tall and 24” wide. The deep green foliage has a fern-like appearance which is quite different than most Achillea millefoliums that have more lacy foliage. The creamy-white umbels are a perfect landing pad for butterflies and other beneficial pollinators. Hummingbirds find the flowers irresistible but the local deer population tends to leave these alone. The carefree flowers also attract other beneficial insects such as ladybugs, hoverflies, spiders, and parasitic wasps. That being said, ‘Sonoma Coast’ is a fantastic companion plant in vegetable and herb gardens where it will draw in these beneficial insects to deal with pests.
They are fairly fast growing and will spread by rhizomes, so give them room to grow. Divide the clumps if they become over-crowed. Prune back spent blooms to encourage re-bloom. This is considered a drought tolerant plant once established, however it will look its best if given regular irrigation, especially if planted inland. Pair with many choices of California Native plants such as Ceanothus maritimus ‘Frosty Dawn’ which will provide that afternoon shade ‘Sonoma Coast’ enjoys. It also pairs well with Statice perezii, a lovely coastal bloomer that incorporates tiny white flowers into its purple blossoms, and will pull out the white of ‘Sonoma Coast’. The vibrant orange flowers of our beloved California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica will likely emerge between plants in areas that are allowed to grow semi-wild. If you desire contrasting color, Gaillardia ‘Goblin’ or Salvia greggii ‘Blue Note’ will give you the “pop” you are looking for. We are currently selling Achillea millefolium ‘Sonoma Coast’ in 1 gallon containers. Give us a call, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, or check out our website, www.clearwatercolor.com, to learn more about these and other plants we are growing here at Clearwater Color Nursery!