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

Polemonium pulcherrimum Hook. var. pulcherrimum
showy Jacob's-ladder
Polemoniaceae (Phlox family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Polemonium pulcherrimum var. pulcherrimum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a branched stem-base atop a taproot; stems loosely erect to sprawling, clustered, spreading glandular-hairy especially in the inflorescence, sometimes nearly smooth elsewhere, foul-smelling if rubbed, 5-35 cm tall.
Basal leaves tufted and well-developed, pinnately compound with 11 to 25 egg-shaped to circular, opposite or offset leaflets, glandular-hairy when young; stem leaves few, reduced.
Inflorescences crowded, terminal head-like clusters of long-stalked flowers; corollas blue, rarely white, with yellow centres, bell-shaped, 7-13 mm long, the 5 rounded lobes equalling to nearly twice as long as the tube; calyces 4-7 mm long, the 5 lobes lance-oblong.
Capsules, 3-chambered.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic, rocky slopes and ridges, gravelly or sandy terraces, meadows, roadsides and open forests in the montane to alpine zones; common in BC in and east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, also known from a single location in the Queen Charlotte Islands; N to AK, YT and NT, E to SW AB and S to CO and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Polemonium pulcherrimum var. pulcherrimum

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) 1680 1680 1680
Slope Gradient (%) 70 70 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
180 180 180
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 2
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: ESSF(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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Polemonium pulcherrimum subsp. pulcherrimum Hook.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References