Page authors: Ben Legler, David Giblin
Polemonium carneum
royal Jacob's-ladder, great polemonium, salmon polemonium

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest on the Olympic Peninsula and southwestern Washington; Olympic Peninsula to California.

Habitat: Thickets, woodlands and forest openings, from near sea level to moderate elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Threatened in Washington (WANHP)

Pollination: Bumblebees


Perennial from a woody rhizome, the loosely clustered stems 3-10 dm. tall, with sticky hairs at least in the inflorescence.


Leaves alternate, pinnate, the leaflets 11-19, lanceolate to ovate or elliptic, thin and pointed, 1.5-4.5 cm. long and 6-23 mm. wide; basal leaves long-petiolate, cauline leaves less so, the stem appearing leafy.


Inflorescence open, the flowers few with long pedicels; calyx herbaceous, 7.5-14 mm. long, the 5 lobes about equal to the tube; corolla bell-shaped, 18-28 mm. long, the lobes longer than the tube, variously colored, flesh-colored to salmon or yellow, sometimes lavender or purple; style 3-parted; ovary superior.


Capsule 3-celled.

Accepted Name:
Polemonium carneum A. Gray
Publication: Syn. Fl. N. Amer. 2(1): 151. 1878.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Polemonium carneum A. Gray ssp. luteum (A. Gray) Brand
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Polemonium carneum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Polemonium carneum checklist entry

OregonFlora: Polemonium carneum information

E-Flora BC: Polemonium carneum atlas page

CalPhotos: Polemonium carneum photos

17 photographs:
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