Welcome to the wonderful world of weedy plants!
Weeds are superevolutionary products of human civilizations and activities - without humans there would be no weeds, just wild plants.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Species: Yarrow and nosebleeds

The weed yarrow is a native here in the US, but it is also present in Asia and Europe.  It has been used medicinally for a long time.  Its botanical name, Achillea millefolium (Asteraceae), is of course after the Greek god Achilles, and millefolium after a 'thousand leaves' since the leaves are so finely dissected. 

When I was a kid in Sweden, they told us stories how in the old times, school kids would take a piece of the leaves, which have sharp tips on each little leaflet, and put it in their nostrils before a boring class at school.  A while in during the lesson, the kid would just slightly touch its nose, and a profuse nosebleed would start, and wow, the kids got immediately excused from class.

Yarrow is also cultivated here in the US, so it is one of those weeds that the horticulturalists can't really decide if it is good or bad.  Maybe it is just an interesting plant?

Species: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium, Asteraceae)

[Image from Lindman's Bilder ur Nordens Flora (Swedish), public domain]

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