Yarrow "Paprika" as Effective as Common Yarrow?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Steve
Posted on: May 12, 2008

I just bought some Yarrow "Paprika’ for my herb garden. As I was researching the benefits of the plant, I read a great deal about the common form but nothing of the specific plant I bought. Are they the same?

It is generally assumed that many members of the Achillea genus to which the yarrows belong have medicinal properties. Besides the common yarrow (Achillea millifolium) there are several lesser known species that have been used in medicine in different parts of the world. For example, Mongolian yarrow (A. asiatica) is used to treat fever and pains (see http://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_store.cgi?product=X7003). As you already noted most of the literature is focussed on common yarrow and this is the species on which most of the research and medical experience is based, but I am not aware of any studies comparing the medicinal properties of the various species. Although I believe that more research will reveal a rich motherlode of medicinal properties among the yarrows, I would not expect the various species to be equivalent or medicinally interchangeable.

Also, I see that the common variety sends out runners and can take over a garden. Is that also true of the "Paprika" variety?

All of species we have grown will spread at varying rates but in our experience none are invasive like the mints. Even the common yarrow is easy to contain in the garden. The thing about common yarrow is that where it is allowed to grow it will crowd out most other plants, even weedy grasses -- but only if you let it. For this reason it makes a very good lawn replacement in temperate zones, requiring far less mowing than grass.

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