The report on edibility for this plant was under the name Achillea decolorans Schrad. This name is usually treated as a synonym of Achillea ageratum, but in the TICA database (record C12CCEB1-CA85-49F8-BD4E-18B70F0BE3AB1) it is treated as a distinct species[
Achillea anglica G.Don
Achillea decolorans Schrad
Achillea serrata Sm.
Achillea serratifolia Salisb.
Achillea viscosa Lam.
Conforata ageratum Fourr.
Common Name: Sweet Nancy
Achillea ageratum is a herbaceous perennial plant producing a clump of stems around 80cm tall that usually become more or less woody at their base. The stems are sometimes branched[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is often grown as an ornamental, there are various named forms.
Southwest Europe and the western Mediterranean - France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Morocco
The origin of this plant is uncertain, it is possibly a hybrid, A. ptarmica x A. macrocephala[
Hardy to about -20°c[
Succeeds in most soils but prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position[
]. It also succeeds in partial shade[
]. Plants live longer in a poor soil[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant, they can show distress in very severe droughts but usually recover[
]. Plants succeed in maritime gardens[
An excellent plant to grow in a large pot, the long stems will tend to arch down and continue to flower for a long time[
The leaves have a pungent aroma, especially when the plant is grown in a hot sunny position[
The plant is intermediate between Ahillea millefolium and Achillea ptarmica in its characteristics[
There is at least one named variety, selected for its ornamental value[
Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus[
Leaves - raw or cooked. The initial flavour is mild and pleasant, though it becomes stronger and aromatic when the leaves are chewed, and leaves a tingly sensation in the mouth[
]. They make an acceptable addition to mixed salads, the plant is very productive, though the leaves are rather small and fiddly to pick in quantity[
]. They are also used in soups, stews etc., and as a flavouring in potato salad etc[
The aromatic leaves are used as a tea substitute[
Seed - sow spring or early autumn in a cold frame[
]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If this species is a hybrid it might not breed true from seed.
Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions.
Basal cuttings of new shoots in spring. Very easy, collect the shoots when they are about 10cm tall, potting them up individually in pots and keeping them in a warm but lightly shaded position. They should root within 3 weeks and will be ready to plant out in the summer.