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.
Polemonium occidentale Greene
Western Polemonium, Western Jacob's Ladder
Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)
USDA Symbol: pooc2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Western Jacobís-ladder is a 1 1/2-3 ft. perennial with basal clusters of dark-green, pinnately compound leaves. Its blue, bell-shaped flowers are crowded in an elongate, openly branched cluster.
The leaves resemble long ladders; the genus is known by the common name Jacob's Ladder. Leafy Polemonium (P. foliosissimum), which grows from Idaho and Wyoming south to Arizona and New Mexico, is somewhat leafier than Western Polemonium, the upper leaves not much smaller than those at the base.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Dark Green
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Blue to purple with a white throat.
DistributionUSA: CA , CO , ID , MN , MT , NV , OR , UT , WA , WI , WY
Native Distribution: B.C. & Alt., s. to CA & CO; mostly e. of the Cascades
Native Habitat: Wet, open conifer forests or meadow edges; 3000-11,000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Wet to moist, well-drained soils.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagate by division or seed.
Seed Treatment: Stratify.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
Web ReferenceWebref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Polemonium occidentale in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Polemonium occidentale in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Polemonium occidentale
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: TWC Staff