Plant of the Week: Parker’s Variety fern-leaf yarrow

There are approximately 100 yarrow species and at least three times as many cultivars in existence. On the High Line, there are two species and three cultivars, including A. filipendulina 'Parker's Variety,' also called fern-leaf yarrow, A. millefolium 'Terracota' and A. millefolium 'Walther Funcke.'

Native to the Caucasus, fern-leaf yarrow is in the Aster family. It usually grows up to four feet, but can sometimes reach heights of five feet. The flower heads are 3-4 inches across, making excellent cut flowers and landing pads for pollinators. Its leaves resemble the fronds of a fern, thus the common name, while also resembling plants in the Filipendula genus, giving the plant its the scientific name.

'Parker's Variety' blooms from June to November, and the seed heads add winter interest. The flowers are a vibrant yellow and contrast well with blue, purple and lavender flowers. This yarrow is striking when interspersed in a matrix of tall grasses such as Calamagrostis and Molinea.

Propagation is done by division or cuttings in spring or by seeds.


'Parker's Variety' needs full sun and good drainage. It tolerates poor, slightly acidic soils. No fertilization is necessary, because the plant will grow too tall and flop in rich soils. There are some occasional disease problems like stem rot and powdery mildew. On the High Line, we have had problems with leaf hoppers in the past. They puncture and suck sap, causing stunt and distortion of the plant. Leaf hoppers can be controlled by ladybugs and lacewings.


Meadow Walk between West 23rd and West 25th streets.

The High Line's planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 500 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line's rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today. Every week we share one of our gardeners' current favorites with you.

Our horticultural team counts on members and friends like you to help keep the High Line beautiful and thriving. Join our community of supporters who play an essential role in the High Line's most important gardening projects.

TD Bank is the Presenting Green Sponsor of the High Line.

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