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Polemonium reptans

Greek valerian add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, loam

Height: 6"-16"

Bloom Time: May, June

Bloom Color: lavender, blue

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7

Additional Tags: mounding, naturalizing, rock garden plant, shade garden plant, stream margin plant, woodland plant

Polemonium reptans (Greek valerian)
  • Polemonium reptans (Greek valerian)
  • Polemonium reptans (Greek valerian)
  • Polemonium reptans (Greek valerian)
  • Polemonium reptans (Greek valerian)

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Description

Polemonium reptans

Also known as:

Greek valerian

,

creeping Jacob's ladder

,

Jacob's ladder

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

The blue, bell-shaped flowers of the Greek valerian are borne in loose, terminal clusters atop sprawling, rather weak stems. Oval leaflets are arranged like the rungs of a ladder and give the plant a delicate, fern-like appearance.

Cultivation

Though the genus modifier "reptans" describes this species as a creeper, it is somewhat of a misnomer: this plant has a rhizomatous root system and does not actually "creep". Its native range includes moist, rich, circumneutral soil in humusy woodlands and along streams. Filtered light is best, but Polemonium reptans will tolerate full sun in cooler climates. It will self seed freely under optimum conditions. Bloom times may vary from April to June. Zones 4-7

Propagation

Propagate from seed or root division after flowering.

Additional Notes

This species can survive drought conditions by going dormant. The leaf arrangement of Jacob's ladder gave this plant its common name. It is a reference to Jacob's vision of a ladder to heaven in the Book of Genesis.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
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

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: NJ
  • Threatened: MI

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Solanales
Family Polemoniaceae Phlox family
Genus Polemonium Jacob's ladder
Species Polemonium reptans Greek valerian