USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 63.
WILD SEED PROJECT IS OFFERING SEEDS, SO THIS SPECIES IS NOT A PRIORITY.
Where Commonly Found: Stream side forests, meadows, fields and gardens, CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Polemonium reptans.
Missouri Botanical Garden webpage for Polemonium reptans.
Flower Type: May to June, upper stems end in loose, floppy panicles of 1-1/2″ – 3″ across blue flowers with 5 rounds petals and a short-tubular calyx having 5 teeth, 5 stamens with white anthers and a pistil with a slender style dividing into 3 pars at the end.
Leaf Arrangement: Leafy stems often sprawling on the ground. Alternate compound leaves.
Leaf Type: Odd-pinnate leaves up to 8″ long with 5 – 15 elliptical, somewhat glabrous, medium green leaflets that are 3/4″ – 1-1/4″ long by about 1/4″-1/2″ across with smooth margins.
Seed Collection: Flowers are replaces with a 3-celled ovoid seed capsules about 1/4″ long, turning yellow and red and the seeds will turn reddish brown. Cut pots when seeds have ripened, spread on screen to dry. Remove seeds from pods by shaking.
Use: Ground Cover
Light: Full Sun to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8 USDA Zone Map
Notes: Polemonium reptans, Jacob’s Ladder, is a useful self-seeding ground cover with blue flowers appearing in early season.
Naturalized in the Northeast (except Maine), native to Mid-Atlantic, Southern and Midwestern US: Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North America Plant Atlas (NAPA).