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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jim Riley     (Photo ID #33936)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Polemonium elegans
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


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)
1900 1335 2223
Slope Gradient (%)
9 0 27

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

204 185 240
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 1 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia