Polemonium reptans
Jacob's ladder, abscess root, American Greek Valerian

Polemonium reptans
Polemonium reptans
Photo copyleft 2007 Derek Ramsey
Botanical name: Polemonium reptans
Common name: Jacob's ladder, abscess root, American Greek Valerian
Group: dicot
Family: Polemoniaceae
Growth type: forb/herb; subshrub
Duration: perennial
Origin: native
Plant height: 1/2 - 2', erect or spreading
Foliage: sticky-hairy or hairless; compound, leaflets 7 - 17
Flower: blue to violet flowers on loose open panicles, 1/4 - 1/2"; stamens not exerted from flowers
Flowering time: late spring
Habitat: rich moist woods
Range in New Jersey: scattered locations, primarily western side of state
Heritage ranking, if any: S1, LP, HL
Misc. Historically the roots were used for bronchitis, laryngitis, and tuberculosis, as well as snake bites. Faunal associations include a number of bees, as well as various butterflies, skppers, and moths.