Achillea ptarmica (Sneezewort)
|Also known as:||Sneezeweed, Pearly Yarrow|
|Habitat:||sun; disturbed sandy or gravelly soil; roadsides, railroads, fields, waste areas, gardens|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||1 to 2 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flattish, branching clusters of a few to several flowers at the ends of branching stems in the upper plant. Individual flowers are 1/3 to 2/3 inch across, have 7 to 15 white ray flowers (petals), notched at the tips, and pale gray-brown center disc flowers.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are alternate, lance-linear, 1 to 4 inches long, less than ¼ inch wide, hairless except along the midrib on the underside, finely toothed around the edges, and stalkless. Stems are mostly erect, usually branched, hairy on the upper stems and usually smooth below. Plants can form colonies from spreading rhizomes.
Flower heads become seed heads about ¼ inch in diameter. Fruit is a dry seed about 2mm long.
An infrequent weed in Minnesota, Sneezewort has been cultivated globally and occasionally escapes cultivation. The flowers resemble Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), which is more densely flowered, the flowers have only 4 to 6 rays, and leaves are finely divided and feathery. The double-flowered form of Sneezewort, known as “the pearl”, is common in the garden trade and both forms can persist in the wild.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Aitkin County.
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