Greek valerian

(Polemonium reptans var. reptans)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Greek valerian

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

Nativity

Native

 
Occurrence

 

 
Habitat

Moist to moderate moisture. Meadows, woods. Full sun to shade.

 
Flowering

May to June

     
Flower Color

Blue

     
Height

8 to 20

     
 
Identification

This is a 8 to 20 tall, mostly erect, perennial forb that rises on a solitary stem or several loosely clustered or tufted stems from a taproot.

The stems are erect or sprawling, slender, hollow, green or reddish, usually hairless, and branching toward the top.

Basal leaves are on long leaf stalks. Stem leaves are alternate. Lower stem leaves are on short leaf stalks, upper stem leaves are stalkless. The principal leaves are pinnately divided into 7 to 17 leaflets.

The leaflets are stalkless, almost oppositely arranged, elliptic to egg-shaped, ¾ to 1½ long, and about ½ wide. The upper surface is dull green and hairless. The lower surface is silvery-green and hairless. They have 3 prominent veins. The margins are untoothed.

The inflorescences are few-flowered branching clusters at the end of stems and branches and rising from the upper leaf axils. The cluster stalks (peduncles) are hairless and reddish green and are covered with short, appressed hairs.

The flowers are bell-shaped, ½ to long, and about ½ wide. They are on 3 16 to ¼ long stalks, the stalks at least as long as the sepals. There are 5 green sepals, 5 blue petals, and 5 stamens.

The fruit is a rounded, 3-chambered capsule with 1 to 10 seeds per chamber.

 
Similar
Species

Western Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium occidentale ssp. lacustre) flowers in the summer, not the spring. The flower stalks are shorter than the sepals. In Minnesota it is found only in St. Louis County.

 
Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.
 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Polemoniaceae (phlox)

 

Subfamily:

Polemonioideae

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

Greek valerian

Jacob’s ladder

spreading Jacob’s ladder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Peduncle

The stalk of a single flower or flower cluster.

 

Pinnate

Having the leaflets of a compound leaf arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
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Plant

  Greek valerian    
       

Inflorescence

  Greek valerian   Greek valerian
       

Flowers

  Greek valerian    
       

Leaves

  Greek valerian    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Polemonium reptans (Greek Valerian)
Allen Chartier
 
  Polemonium reptans (Greek Valerian)  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans) and Midland Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia)
PrairieMoonNursery
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 4, 2010

http://www.priairemoon.com - It's early May at Prairie Moon Nursery and Jacob's Ladder and Midland Shooting Star are in bloom!

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
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