Photo: Jacob's Ladder

Polemonium vanbruntiae Britt.

Bog Jacob's-ladder

Habitat: Wooded swamps, bottoms, sphagnous bogs and mossy glades. [Forested wetland]

Range: Maine, Vermont, and northern New York to West Virginia.

Aids to Identification: This perennial herb is characterized by alternate, pinnately compound leaves. The leaflets are narrowly egg-shaped and number 15-19 per leaf. The bluish-purple, bell-shaped flowers are very similar to those of the garden plant P. caeruleum. They can be distinguished by the fact that the stamens protrude from the corolla in P. vanbruntiae.

Photo: Jacob's Ladder

Ecological characteristics: The only known occurrence in Maine inhabits a sedge/fern wetland meadow.

Phenology: Flowers June - July.

Family: Polemoniaceae

Synonyms: Polemonium caeruleum L. ssp. vanbruntiae (Britt.) J.F. Davids.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 2 town(s) in the following county(ies): Washington.

Photo: Jacob's Ladder

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: Known populations are small and subject to the vagaries of small populations like random fluctuations or localized disturbance events.

For more information, see the Native Plant Trust's Conservation Plan for Polemonium vanbruntiae.