Polemonium – Jacob’s Ladder, Charity, Greek Valerian
Jacob’s Ladder is a very ornamental and graceful flowering plant of early Spring and Summer. The flowers are blue, or white, flat or bellshaped, and are borne in spikes; the foliage is very finely cut, much resembling fern fronds. Polemonium caeruleum or the Greek Valerian is rather bushy with long spikes, about 2 feet high, of sky-blue flowers with golden anthers. P. reptans, a native of our woods, is dwarf, growing 6 inches or 8 inches high, with light blue flowers which come into bloom early in April. P. humile (Richardsonii) is very dainty and dwarf with small spikes of blue flowers growing from small rosettes of green, fern-like leaves. All the varieties bloom from April or May on through August or September.
UTILIZE. Most of these plants are splendid for rockeries or in low beds and borders. The taller ones are used in front of shrubs. Some are grown as alpine subjects or in wild gardens. The flowers can be cut, and with their delicate foliage, make up beautifully for vase or basket work.
GENERAL. Polemoniums are very easy to grow, thriving best in dry places where the soil is rich and well-drained and with some shade.
PROPAGATION. These plants are propagated easily from seed sown in the Fall or by dividing the plants.