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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 8-12 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-lavender, 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
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


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 Collection: Not Available
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

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: 2014-10-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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