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

Polemonium acutiflorum Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.
tall Jacob's-ladder
Polemoniaceae (Phlox family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Durand  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10844)

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Distribution of Polemonium acutiflorum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a rhizome; stems single, erect from a decumbent base, glandular-hairy especially above, 15-40 cm tall.
Alternate, mostly basal, pinnately compound, reduced upwards; leaflets 15 to 27, lanceolate to elliptic, pointed at the tip, 3-7 mm long, hairless or nearly so.
Inflorescences terminal or axillary, head-like or somewhat elongate, crowded clusters of short-stalked flowers; corollas blue or purple, rarely white, bell-shaped, 15-20 mm long, the 5 lobes twice as long as the tube; calyces 6-8 mm long, green to purple, the 5 teeth lanceolate; stamens slightly exserted beyond the corollas, not markedly surpassed by the styles.
Capsules, 3-chambered.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist swamps, streambanks, meadows and thickets in the steppe to subalpine zones; common in N BC, less frequent southward to 52degreeN; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Polemonium acutiflorum

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) 5 1432 2440
Slope Gradient (%) 0 16 75
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 290 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 8
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: AT(1), BAFA(83), BWBS(43), ESSF(38), MS(21), SBPS(3), SBS(3), SWB(118)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Polemonium caeruleum subsp. villosum (J.H. Rudolph ex Georgi) Brand

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References