yarrow ‘Moonshine’

Achillea ‘Moonshine’ (yarrow) is a favorite of Lurie Garden staff, bringing wonderful color, texture, and beneficial insects to the summer garden. As a genus, this Asteraceae is native to temperate areas of Asia, Europe, and North America. A. ‘Moonshine’ is a cultivated hybrid of A. clypeolata and A. ‘Taygetea’.

Achillea ‘Moonshine’ grows to 60 cm tall with a 30 cm spread and has a clump-forming and upright habit. Given this upright and compact growth habit, planting A. ‘Moonshine’ in large masses or sweeps is often recommended.

Leaves of this cultivar are deeply-dissected and fern-like with a silvery gray-green color. Flowers are tiny, lemon-yellow in color borne on densely packed, flattened compound corymb (flowering head). Plants bloom from June-September and are known to be long-lasting. Fading corymbs can be deadheaded to force a second bloom, although second flowering is not quite as good as the first round. Flowers are very attractive to honeybees, bumble bees, and many other pollinators.

Achillea ‘Moonshine’ is highly drought resistant and will tolerate poor soils. Bacterial leaf spot and powdery mildew can become a problem if mass plantings become too dense or soils are poorly drained. Minor pruning for better airflow through large plantings will solve these issues.

At Lurie Garden, A. ‘Moonshine’ is used to continue the themes of yellow flower color and flat-topped flower structure into the summer months. Zizia aurea (golden Alexander) brings these features to the spring garden, while A. ‘Moonshine’ carries these themes into the summer and fall garden.

Botanical Name Achillea ‘Moonshine’
Common Name yarrow ‘Moonshine’
Family Asteraceae
USDA Zone 3 thru 8
Light Requirement Full Sun
Season(s) of interest summer, fall, winter
Height and Spread 1-2ft x 0.75-1ft (30-60cm x 23-30cm)
Flower Color Yellow
Attracts Wildlife Provides Food for Birds, Hosts Caterpillars of Butterflies/Moths, Attracts Pollinators, Rarely Browsed by Mammalian Herbivores
Additional Information Not Native to the US Midwest. Horticultural origin: Achillea clypeolata x A. ‘Taygetea’. Introduced in the 1950’s by Alan Bloom of Bressingham Gardens in Diss, England. Rabbits avoid A. ‘Moonshine,’ possibly because of the silvery foliage.
Location in Lurie Garden Northeast Light Plate, Northwest Light Plate, Southeast Light Plate

Average Flowering Time