Polemonium reptans, Jacob’s Ladder, Greek Valerian

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

In the Mid-Atlantic Region, this attractive wildflower is most common in Pennsylvania. In Virginia its occurrence is spotty, although it is native to Fairfax County. At home in moist woods and along stream banks, this Phlox family member features leaflets arranged like rungs on a ladder (the ladder dreamt of by Jacob in the Bible story), thus the common name.

Print Version: Polonium reptans, Jacob’s Ladder, Greek Valerian

MGNVorg Polemonium reptans


Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets

Tags: Mound-forming, herbaceous perennial, Delicate fern-like foliage with pinnately compound leaves, Showy, bell-shaped flowers bloom in loose flower clusters on separate slender stalks April to May, Fruit is a three-celled capsule, Light green to red-green stems tend to bow over and ramble along the ground, Spreads by self-seeding in optimal conditions, Intolerant of drought; no serious pests or diseases; deer seldom severely damage, Slow-spreading, light-textured ground cover, Therapeutic uses, Attracts bees, flies, butterflies and moths, Soil Requirements: Humus-rich soil Hedera helix – English Ivy, Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade Vinca minor – Periwinkle, Water Requirements: Moist, Becomes dormant in drought situations, Divide clumps in early spring or late summer, Use in rock or woodland gardens, Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-8