Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) is a perennial species of the Polemoniaceae family. It is native to the temperate regions of Asia and Europe, where it grows mainly in meadows, grasslands, and damp forests.
The common name, Jacob’s ladder, was derived from the unique ladder-like arrangement of its leaves. Besides Jacob’s ladder, the intensely fragrant flowering plant is also referred to as the following names: Make-bate, Ladder to heaven, Charity plant, American great valerian, and Greek valerian. Polemonium is a genus that includes between 25 and 40 species of flowering plants.
One of the best things about this plant is its leaves. Jacob’s ladder forms a cluster of tightly packed petioles, each of which has tiny, almost fern-like leaves. Each plant can reach a height of 1 to 3 feet (30 to 91 cm).
The loose indigo/purple flower clusters hang like bells on the long stems. They are available in yellow, blue, white, or pink, depending on the variety. Once established, Jacob’s ladder requires minimal care other than the occasional pruning. Jacob’s ladder plants are, therefore, a great, easy-care addition to the garden.