Jacob's ladder flower

Jacob's ladder flower

Jacob's ladder flower


Greek valerian (Polemonium caeruleum) is a clump-forming perennial that earned its common name due to the rung-like arrangement of its pinnate, light green leaves. However, it is the flowers of Greek valerian that are the real attraction. The species form and its various cultivars send up clusters of flowers atop long stems in mid to late spring. Most varieties have delicate bell-shaped flowers in shades of purple and lavender, but there are also white, pink, and yellow varieties available, and all attract common pollinators. The bright blue or purple varieties are among the most popular, blooming in clear tones offset by yellow centers.


The delicate foliage and the fluorescent color of the flowers make Greek valerian a favorite for shady areas. Direct seed in early spring and it will grow tall and start blooming in mid-spring, sometimes continuing into early summer so you can continuously enjoy these fragrant and wildlife-resistant plants.Greek valerian thrives in USDA Zones 4 to 9, reaching a height of about 30 inches and spread of 2 feet. This woodland-type wildflower grows well in average well-drained soil in shady locations where few flowering plants thrive, provided the soil is kept consistently moist. This can be a slightly temperamental garden plant, reacting badly to soil that is too dry or too wet, or to a climate that is too hot or too humid. Deadheading spent flowers in the spring may prompt a second bloom period.

This herbaceous perennial is a spring ephemeral wildflower. Its flowering stems are low to the ground, but also tend to droop to the side, giving the plant a sprawling look. The flowers are a shade of blue that is seldom seen in the forest. Comprised of five petals that are bell-shaped (campanulate), they occur in loose panicles of nodding inflorescences. The stigma extends beyond the stamens, preventing self-pollination. Jacob’s ladder, also called Greek Valerian, any of about 25 species of the genus Polemonium of the family Polemoniaceae, native to temperate areas in North and South America and Eurasia. Many are valued as garden flowers and wildflowers. They have loose, spikelike clusters of drooping blue, violet, or white, funnel-shaped, five-petaled flowers and alternate, pinnately (featherlike) compound leaves. (Source: www.britannica.com)


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