milfoils versus yarrows

Robin Leech robinl at CONNECT.AB.CA
Wed May 3 08:04:16 CDT 2000

To Jiri Danihelka:

"Milfoil" and "Yarrow" are the common names used at the generic level  for

These terms do not seem to be used at the species level (e.g., A.
millefolium L. is called "Common Yarrow" and A. ptarmica L. is called
"Sneezeweed").  Thus, without an identification to the species level, one
would say, "It is a milfoil." or, "It is a yarrow."  No caps are needed for
the common name.

There is no confusion with the Haloragaceae and the genus _Myriophyllum_,
mainly because it is called "water-milfoil", and not just "milfoil".
Depending upon the species being considered, there are other adjectives
added, for example:

_Myriophyllum alterniflorum_DC is called "water-milfoil".
_Myriophyllum pinnatum_(Walt.) BSP is called "pinnate water-milfoil".
_Myriophyllum spicatum_L. is called "spiked water-milfoil".

Hope this helps.

Robin Leech

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jiøí Danihelka" <danihel at PALAVA.CZ>
Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2000 3:00 AM
Subject: milfoils versus yarrows

> Dear taxacomers,
> a short linguistic question of a non-native English user.
> There are many common names referring to the genus Achillea, I guess.
> them, "yarrow" seems to be the most general and widely accepted one,
> covering also the section Ptarmica ("sneezewort"). Writing about Achillea
> millefolium aggregate, is it possible use the common name "milfoil"? It
> seems to me that this name refers exclusively to A. millefolium s. l., but
> neither to the section Ptarmica nor to the yellow flowering things from
> eastern Mediterranean. Or is it just American usage? Is there a problem of
> confusion with "water-milfoils", Myriophyllum?
> Thanks
> Jirka D
> **************************
> Jiri Danihelka
> Sprava CHKO Palava
> Namesti 32
> 692 01 Mikulov
> tel. 0625-510585
> Our homepage:

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