Royal Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium carneum)

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A woodland plant, wonderful for partly shaded areas!

With soft flowers that range from white to pink to purple, this plant is fantastic for many kinds of garden! It grows fairly large for an herbaceous plant - it can get two and a half feet tall, or even larger in nutrient-rich soil. It grows in a bunchy kind of way, and its flowers tend to lean on plants next to it.

Usually found in woodland edges, Royal Jacob's Ladder is fairly adaptable. It can handle dry clay soils or amended soils. Like many plants, it will have more flowers in slightly brighter areas, though it does not like full sun.

Photo Credit: By Adamschneider - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Photo Credit: By Kurt Stüber [1] - part of, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Perennial (multiple years)
Part Sun to Mostly Shade
Adaptable, moist to dry
Usually between 2 and 3 feet
Clusters of white-to-purple flowers
Bloom Period:
Mid spring to early summer
Oppositely arranged, forest-green leaves
Native Range:
Washington to northern California, primarily west of the Cascades
Typical Habitat:
Woodland edges, dry open forest, prairie edges