Polemonium Seeds & Plants

Known as one of nature's rare blue flowers

The genus Polemonium contains herbaceous perennial herbs, commonly called Jacob’s ladder, grown for their showy, often fragrant, flowers. Typically borne singly or in loose clusters on upright or drooping stems, the funnel-shaped, five-petaled flowers are known as one of nature’s rare blue flowers; but they actually grow in a range of colors, including blue (most common), purple, pink, yellow, and white. The stems are green or slightly purple and some foliage is variegated and sometimes tinged with pink. While some species prefer full sun and partial to afternoon shade, others prefer shady, cool locations. Most grow best in organically rich, moist but well-draining soil.

Polemonium is a genus of about 25 to 30 species that have a wide range of characteristics but are generally divided into dwarf (typically 12 to 18 inches tall) or tall (up to 3 feet) varieties, including P. caeruleum, P. boreale, and P. reptans (creeping Jacob’s ladder, Greek Valerian). Some species are native to temperate areas in North America and are typically found in native woodlands and along stream beds.