plant named ‘Firefly Sunshine’

- Walters Gardens Inc.

A new and distinct Yarrow, Achillea plant named ‘Firefly Sunshine’, with narrow, gray-green, dissected foliage; tall, stiff, heavily branched stems with bright yellow ray florets that mature to yellow in large compound corymbs, beginning in late June and continuing for about seven weeks and repeating if deadheaded. The new plant is useful for landscaping, as a specimen or en masse and as a cut flower.

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Botanical designation: Achillea hybrid.

Cultivar denomination: ‘Firefly Sunshine’.


The first public disclosure of the claimed plant, in the form of a sale, was made by Walters Gardens, Inc. on Apr. 1, 2019. Prior to that, on Dec. 1, 2018 the claimed plant was displayed as a photograph with a brief description on a website operated by Walters Gardens, Inc., followed by listing with a photograph and brief description in the Walters Gardens 19-20 Catalog circulated on May 29, 2019. Walters Gardens, Inc. obtained the plant and all information relating thereto, from the inventor. No plants of Achillea ‘Firefly Sunshine’ have been sold, in this country or anywhere in the world, nor has any disclosure of the new plant been made, more than one year prior the filing date of this application, and such sale or disclosure within one year was either derived directly or indirectly from the inventor.


The present invention relates to the new and distinct yarrow herein also referred to as Achillea ‘Firefly Sunshine’, by the cultivar name, ‘Firefly Sunshine’, or as the new plant. The new plant was selected by the inventor as a single seedling resulting from a self-pollination of a proprietary, unreleased, unnamed seedling known only by the breeder code 13-5-22 (not patented) in research facility of a wholesale perennial grower based in Zeeland, Mich., USA. The cross was performed on Jun. 23, 2014 and seeds from this cross were collected on Sep. 23, 2014. The single seedling was then isolated and compared in subsequent years to other Yarrow plants and subsequently found to be different from all cultivars known to the discoverer and eventually given the breeder code 14-35-2.

Asexual propagation at the same nursery in Zeeland, Mich., USA by shoot tip cuttings and division since August of 2016 has shown ‘Firefly Sunshine’ to be stable and reproduce true to type in successive generations.


Achillea ‘Firefly Sunshine’ has not been observed in all possible environmental conditions. The phenotype may vary slightly with changes in environments such as light intensity, fertility, water availability, etc. without, however any variation in genotype.

Achillea ‘Firefly Sunshine’ is distinct from all cultivars known to the inventor in the following traits:

  • 1. Mounded habit about 75 cm tall and 70 cm wide;
  • 2. Gray-green finely dissected foliage;
  • 3. Heavily-branched compound corymb with broad clusters of inflorescences;
  • 4. Bright yellow ray florets that mature to yellow;
  • 5. Sturdy stems withstand wind and rain;
  • 6. Long flowering period beginning late June and continuing for about seven weeks;
  • 7. Repeat flowering if deadheaded.

Plants of Achillea ‘Firefly Sunshine’ are most similar to ‘Novaachdus’ U.S. Plant Pat. No. 25,838, ‘Moonshine’ (not patented) and ‘Sunny Seduction’ U.S. Plant Pat. No. 20,808. ‘Novaachdus’ is much smaller in habit, both shorter and narrower than the new plant and the ray florets open as a soft yellow and fade to creamy yellow. ‘Sunny Seduction’ is slightly smaller in habit, the inflorescences and ray florets are on smaller stems with ray florets opening lemon yellow and fading to pastel yellow. ‘Moonshine’ produces deeper, more golden ray floret petals on plants with a taller habit. Photographs or plants of the parent selection were not maintained, so no comparison with the parents are possible.


The color drawings illustrate the overall characteristics of Achillea ‘Firefly Sunshine’ as a two-year-old plant in a full-sun trial garden in Zeeland, Mich. The colors are as true as reasonably possible given the technology available. The color values may vary slightly depending on light intensity and quality.

FIG. 1 shows the new plant in a trial facility.

FIG. 2 shows a close-up of the inflorescence and buds of the new plant.


The following description of the new plant is based on a three-year-old plant growing in a full-sun trial garden in Zeeland, Mich., USA. Environmental conditions for the growing season daytime temperatures range between 12-30° C., and night temperatures range between 6-19° C. Except for ordinary dictionary color usage, color references are according to The Royal Horticultural Society Colour Chart, 2015 edition.

  • Parentage: Female or seed parent 13-5-22; male or pollen parent 13-5-22;
  • Asexual propagation: Shoot tip cuttings, about 10 to 14 days to initiate roots; time to finish as #1 field grown size about 9 months;
  • Plant habit: Dense axillary branches; upright, heavily-branched, herbaceous, winter-hardy, perennial mound; up to 75.0 cm tall and 70.0 cm wide; average about 70.0 cm tall and about 66.0 cm across;
  • Leaves: Alternate; lanulose abaxial and sparsely lanulose adaxial; pinnatifid with lobules incised to near the midrib; lanceolate; acute apex; base attenuate; cauline leaves sessile; up to about 34.0 cm long and about 6.2 cm wide with individual lobes to about 35.0 mm long and about 16.0 mm wide; average leaf size about 24 cm long and 4.5 cm wide;
  • Leaf color: Young expanding leaves adaxial lobes nearest RHS 138A and midrib nearest RHS 145D, abaxial lobes nearest RHS 138A and midrib nearest RHS 145C; mature leaves adaxial lobes nearest RHS 137A and midrib nearest RHS 192B, abaxial lobes nearest RHS 138A and midribs nearest RHS 192A;
  • Foliage fragrance: Slightly herbal;
  • Veins: Pinnate; only adaxial and abaxial midrib obvious; abaxial midrib costate, adaxial midrib flat; adaxial sparsely lanulose, abaxial lanulose;
  • Petiole: Channeled; lanulose; to 6.5 cm long and 4.0 mm wide at base; color nearest RHS 146D;
  • Stems: Upright; cylindrical; lanulose to micro-pubescent; longitudinally ridged in distal portion; color nearest RHS 137B proximally, distally striped RHS 137B and RHS 192B; flowering in upper 12.0 cm and 15 cm across; branches to about 14.0 cm long and 5.0 mm diameter at base;
  • Inflorescence: Individual inflorescence about 8.0 mm diameter, about 6.5 mm tall from bottom of involucral bracts to top of center disk tepals; disk about 3.0 mm across; attitude mostly upright; branching with about 400 inflorescences per stem; branched compound corymb average size about 14.0 cm across; average height is about 70 cm;
  • Receptacle: About 3.0 mm tall and 2.5 mm across; color nearest RHS 148C;
  • Inflorescence fragrance: Not detected;
  • Phyllaries: About 17 in two whorls; lanceolate; acute apex; truncate base; margin entire and ciliolate; outer or lower set about 2.0 mm long and 1.0 mm across, inner set about 3.0 mm long and 1.5 mm across; glabrous adaxial, puberulent abaxial; tightly adpressed against ray petals;
  • Phyllary color: Adaxial and abaxial including midrib nearest RHS 137B, margin nearest RHS 155C;
  • Bristles: Membranous; numerous; about 2.5 mm long and 0.5 mm across; color nearest RHS 155D;
  • Flowering period: Late June, for at least seven weeks and repeating if deadheaded;
  • Flower longevity: 4 to 6 days;
  • Inflorescence buds: With ray florets still erect 6.5 mm tall and 3.5 mm across; ovoid;
  • Inflorescence bud color: Ray florets while still upright exposed abaxial petal color nearest RHS 10C with exposed adaxial floret between RHS 4A and RHS 4B; phyllaries color adaxial and abaxial including midrib nearest RHS 137B, margin nearest RHS 155C;
  • Pedicel: Cylindrical; lanulose; strong; upright attitude; heavily branched; up to 8.0 mm long and 0.7 mm diameter; average 4.0 mm long; and 0.5 mm diameter;
  • Pedicel color: Color nearest RHS 138A;
  • Ray florets: Imperfect; pistillate; typically about five, rarely six per inflorescence; with style about 2.0 mm long and split stigma;
  • Ray floret ligule: Rounded with basal claw; apex rounded, emarginate with two notches about 0.3 mm deep, margin entire; base claw, attenuate; opening to a 90° angle; glabrous adaxial and adaxial; blade about 3.0 mm long and about 3.5 mm wide; basal claw about 2.0 mm long and about 0.5 mm across;
      • Young ray floret ligule color when first flat.—Adaxial nearest RHS 5C, abaxial nearest RHS 5D and claw base nearest RHS 138A.
      • Mature ray floret ligule color.—Adaxial nearest RHS 11D with blush of nearest RHS 183D; abaxial nearest RHS NN155A with claw nearest RHS 145A.
      • Ray floret ligule color before dehiscing.—Adaxial nearest blend between RHS 16D and RHS 11C; abaxial nearest RHS 11D with claw nearest RHS 145A.
      • Style.—Cylindrical; about 2.0 mm long and 0.1 mm diameter; exserted; color nearest RHS NN155A.
      • Stigma.—Bifid; about 0.5 mm long and 0.2 mm diameter; color nearest RHS 11C.
  • Disk florets: About 18 per capitulum; tubular; glabrous; consisting of five tepals, staminal tube and pistil; size about 4.0 mm long by 1.5 mm wide at apex;
      • Tepals.—Five; linear; fused in basal 2.5 mm; apex acute and recurved; margin entire; 3.0 mm long and 0.5 mm wide at fusion.
      • Tepal color.—When first open variable nearest RHS 12B adaxial and abaxial; when mature adaxial and abaxial nearest RHS 12B.
      • Staminal tube.—Made up of five adnate stamens; about 3.0 mm long.
      • Filaments.—Cylindrical; about 1.0 mm long and 0.1 mm diameter; color nearest RHS NN155A.
      • Anther.—About 1.0 mm long; color nearest RHS N187C.
      • Pollen.—Fine, round, closest to RHS 23A.
      • Style.—Cylindrical; exserted; about 2.5 mm long and 0.2 mm diameter; color nearest RHS NN155A.
      • Stigma.—Bifid; reflexing as it matures; about 0.5 mm long; color nearest RHS 11C.
  • Seed: Flattened deltoid; acute apex and truncate base; surface glabrous; about 2.0 mm long and 0.7 mm across base;
  • Seed color: Between RHS 165A and RHS 165B in center and RHS 161D around edges;
  • Achillea ‘Firefly Sunshine’ is tolerant of winter temperatures as low as −35° C. and summer temperatures as high as 38° C. It is not known to be tolerant of diseases and pest that are common to other Achillea cultivars.


1. A new and distinct cultivar of Achillea plant named ‘Firefly Sunshine’ as described and illustrated.

Referenced Cited
Other references
  • Four Star Plugs & Liners from Four Star, Michigan 2019 retrieved on May 18, 2020, retrieved from the Internet at, pp. 1-2, 13. (Year: 2019).
  • Scott Arboretum Selections Fall Sale Version III: Sep. 10, 2019, retrieved from May 13, 2020, retrieved from the Internet at, pp. 1-6, 19. (Year: 2019).
Patent History
Patent number: PP32403
Type: Grant
Filed: Nov 15, 2019
Date of Patent: Oct 27, 2020
Assignee: Walters Gardens Inc. (Zeeland, MI)
Inventor: Hans A Hansen (Zeeland, MI)
Primary Examiner: June Hwu
Application Number: 16/602,653
Current U.S. Class: Herbaceous Ornamnental Flowering Plant (nicotinia, Nasturtium, Etc.) (PLT/263.1)
International Classification: A01H 5/02 (20180101); A01H 6/14 (20180101);