Jacobs ladder

Polemonium caeruleum

A perennial with bell shaped blue flowers, it is now grown as cottage garden ornamental, but was formerly employed to treat conditions from toothache to rabies. 9x9cm pot (8cm depth)

9x9cm pot (8cm depth)

Sale price£3.10
In stock (15 plants), ready to be dispatched


  • Pretty cottage garden plant
  • Bee herb
  • Easy to maintain
  • Self-seeding

A European native, but rare in the UK, Jacobs ladder has fallen into disuse as a medicinal herb and was last used as a treatment for rabies. The ladder shape of the leaves gives the plant its name and it is an attractive flowering plant for the garden, which reliably appears each year.

Plant Care

  • Height: 30-60cm
  • Type: Hardy
  • Aspect: Sun
  • Soil: Any/alkaline
  • Flower colour: Blue
  • Flowering period: June - August

An easy perennial to grow, Jacob's ladder grows in most soil types though it doesn't want to completely dry out in summer and is happy with some sun and shade during the day. It slowly self-seeds and produces a spaced out clump and can be successfully grown in containers.


A herb that has fallen out of favour in recent times, Jacobs ladder was once a popular treatment for reducing fevers by inducing sweating. The root was harvested and dried in autumn and made a bitter tasting infusion that was also used to loosen chest congestion. It makes a very pretty perennial ornamental plant and bees work the blue flowers for both nectar and bright orange pollen.



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