"All turn, & court the shining & the green,
Where herbs look up, & opening flowers are seen
Achillea millefolium 'Terra Cotta' (or 'Terracotta'), an Ernst Pagel introduction, is a clumping perennial reaching a mature height of thirty inches, upright, & spreading to near two feet before it needs to be divided.
It wants full sun & very little water, in soil with sharp drainage. The flowers will fade too swiftly at the height of summer if droughtiness is extreme, so even though it is drought hardy, a little watering during dry spells will keep it vibrant longer. Yarrows do not require fertilizing, & will become floppy rather than flowerier if fed.
The flower fades through earthy shades beginning peach & salmon-pink, aging to russet, coppery orange, or terra cotta, practically a different color every day, hovering in flat racemes above silvery-grey foliage.
It is everblooming, with deadheading, from June to September, or up to the first hard frost. It has been suggested as an accent to brick walkways, or as a container plant in terra cotta containers that match the bloom's colors. Long-lasting as cut flowers, they also hold their color when dried for dry flower arrangments.
Terracotta's one real fault is it can sometimes be floppy, but is sturdier if soil is a light & sandy & it is never fertilized. Cutting it back each time there is an interruption in the flowering may keep it more upright.
Though it performs well in most soils, it prefers poor soil marginally to the alkaline side of the pH scale. Its great enemy is excess dampness or poor drainage.
The upright stems die in winter & should be trimmed back, but the basal leaves are evergreen, giving the impression of being low-growing winter ferns.
This cultivar was developed by the world-famed perennial breeder Ernst Pagels of East Friesland, Germany, & is related to 'Feuerland' aka 'Fireland' which starts off fire-engine red, fading to orange pink.
Pagel's other first-rate millfoils include 'Walter Funcke' which starts brick red & fades to caramel; 'Credo' which fades from yellow to creamy white; 'Heidi' with bright pink flowers; 'Paprika' bright red aging to yellow; & the short pale yellow 'Hella Glashoff.'
'Walther Funcke' Yarrow
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