Achilleas are in vogue again, thanks in part to the many different colours and cultivars that have become available in recent years. Achillea was named by Linnaeus, the modern father of horticulture, in honour of the Greek hero Achilles. They are generally short-lived perennials, with flat, plate-like flowers held high on tall stems, and ferny foliage beneath. This one has bright, magenta flowers, is long flowering, and drought-tolerant. Try it in a sunny spot towards the back of an herbaceous border, or among grasses, but be sure to stake it, as it tends to flop over in wet weather. It makes an excellent cut flower.
Garden care: Achilleas do not like wet soil. Stake using bamboo canes or brushwood before the flowers appear. Cut down to the ground in late winter, but resist the urge to do this earlier, as the seed heads look lovely in the winter light. Pull out seedlings as they appear, as they rarely match the host plant. Lift and divide large clumps in late autumn or early spring.