Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a perennial wildflower found throughout most of Alaska, including Valdez. Numerous white flowers grow on a thin stem with narrow leaves. Variants with pink and magenta colored flowers may occasionally be spotted. Yarrow is in the Family Asteraceae, making it a relative to other wildflowers in Valdez like the daisies and Pineapple Weed.
Photo by Kayleigh Jean Mazzocoli
"To this day, many people use yarrow for its blood clotting properties. Other traditional uses include using the leaves for tea, skin lotions, and insect repellent," Alaska Plant Materials Center
A number of medicinal uses for yarrow have been reported. Viereck writes in Alaska's Wilderness Medicines "yarrow is the herb tea of my choice for the common cold, especially if the hot tea is sipped slowly." The Alutiiq Museum also reports a great number of traditional medicinal uses of yarrow as either a tea or poultice.
"Boreal yarrow is a colonizer. In Alaska it is found in meadows and fields, in both wet and dry areas. It grows on soil and gravel," Alaska Plant Materials Center
Yarrow is common in Valdez during the summer. Flowers begin blooming in late June. Look for yarrow around town, alongside sidewalks or in open areas like parks. Yarrow may also be spotted along a number of hiking trails.