E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Polemonium boreale M.F. Adams
northern Jacob's-ladder
Polemoniaceae (Phlox family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26177)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Polemonium boreale
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a rhizome and branching stem-base; stems single or several, loosely tufted, erect or ascending, spreading-hairy to glandular-hairy, 8-30 cm tall.
Alternate, mostly basal, pinnately compound; leaflets 13 to 23, elliptic to oval, 4-12 mm long, 1-5 mm wide, distinctly hairy (at least when young).
Inflorescences terminal or axillary head-like clusters of short-stalked flowers; corollas blue, rarely white, broadly bell-shaped, 15-20 mm long, the 5 lobes slightly longer than the yellowish tube and rounded at the tip; calyces 5-10 mm long, the 5 teeth lanceolate to oblong, usually pointed.
Capsules, 3-chambered.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry meadows, tundra, scree slopes and rock outcrops in the montane to alpine zones; rare in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains in BC, north of 52degreeN; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT; E Greenland, Scandinavia, N Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Polemonium boreale

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 780 1528 2341
Slope Gradient (%) 0 17 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 314 348
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(3), BWBS(2), ESSF(3), IDF(2), SWB(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References