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

Polemonium elegans Greene
elegant Jacob's-ladder (elegant polemonium)
Polemoniaceae (Phlox family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #33936)

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Distribution of Polemonium elegans
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Species Information

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Short perennial herb from a stout taproot and branched stem-base, glandular-hairy or stalked-glandular throughout, strongly skunky-smelling, 5-15 cm tall.
Alternate, mostly basal, short-stalked with expanded, persistent, papery bases, pinnately compound; leaflets 13 to 27, opposite or offset, crowded, 2.5-6 mm long, 1-3.5 mm wide, entire.
Inflorescence a dense, terminal head-like cluster of short-stalked flowers; calyces 5.5-8.5 mm long with 5 pointed lobes; corollas blue, rarely white, funnel-shaped, 12-15 mm long, the 5 flaring lobes shorter than the tube; stamens exserted.
Capsules, 3-chambered.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry cliffs and scree slopes in the subalpine and alpine zones; rare in S BC south of 56oN, mostly in the Coast-Cascade Mountains; S to N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Polemonium elegans

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) 1335 1900 2223
Slope Gradient (%) 0 9 27
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
185 204 240
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 5
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(3), ESSF(2), MS(1)


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