Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Polemonium pulcherrimum (Jacob's-ladder)
Glase, Terry

Polemonium pulcherrimum

Polemonium pulcherrimum Hook.

Jacob's-ladder, Skunk Leaf

Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)


USDA Symbol: POPU3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

An 8-16 in. perennial with a clump of several somewhat erect stems. Long, pinnately compound leaves are rather ferny in appearance, the lobes closely overlapping. Small, blue-violet, bell-like flowers occur in loose clusters on the flowering stem. The erect bells have a yellowish tube.

This wildflower has a pungent, skunk-like odor.


From the Image Gallery

10 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Blue to blue-violet to nearly white, with a yellow throat.


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: AK to CA Sierras & WY Rockies
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky, often volcanic mt. slopes; mesic to moist shaded places

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky to richer, moist soils .
Conditions Comments: This wildflower has a pungent, skunk-like odor.


Description: Propagate by divisions or seed.
Seed Treatment: No treatment is necessary but stratifying stored seed may improve results.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Polemonium pulcherrimum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Polemonium pulcherrimum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Polemonium pulcherrimum


Record Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back