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Polemonium reptans (Greek valerian)
Cressler, Alan

Polemonium reptans

Polemonium reptans L.

Greek Valerian, Jacob's Ladder

Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)


USDA Symbol: pore2

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

The attractive, pinnately compound leaves and the loose flower clusters of this perennial arise on separate stalks. The stalks are slender and somewhat weak, rising 10-15 in. A smooth, weak-stemmed plant with light blue to purple, bell-shaped flowers in loose clusters. The large, bell-shaped flowers are blue or pink in color.

This attractive wildflower, with its delicate, compound leaves, is sometimes cultivated in eastern gardens.


From the Image Gallery

17 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Blue
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SD , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: NY to MN, s. to GA & AR
Native Habitat: Moist, deciduous woods; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, humus-rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Will go dormant in drought conditions.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate by rootstock division or seed. Divide clumps in early spring or late summer. Sow seeds as they ripen or in very early spring.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
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.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City - Jefferson City, TN
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2016-02-04
Research By: TWC Staff

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