Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven' - Jacob's Ladder

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Butterfly FriendlyDeer ResistantPart Shade
Jacob's Ladder
Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven'

'Stairway to Heaven' is a colorful new cultivar of the native form, featuring green leaves with white leaf margins that are tinged with pink in spring. Pale lavender blue, bell-shaped flowers bloom for many weeks in late spring. Foliage provides good contrast to other shade plants and combines well with purple Heucheras and deep green ferns. This Jacob's Ladder was selected by Bill Cullina of the New England Wildflower Society after observing its longevity in their garden and nursery.

  • Handsome plant, colorful foliage lights up shade areas
  • Clusters of blue flowers provide nectar for native bees and butterflies
  • Unlike other variegated Polemonium, plants are hardy and long-lived
  • No serious pest or disease problems
  • Deer tend to leave this plant alone

Native Range

Moist woods; New York to Minnesota, south to Oklahoma and Alabama.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)

Interesting Facts


Butterflies often bask using their wings as solar collectors. After a cool night, their wing muscles must warm up before they can fly. Set out a rock or two where morning light will warm them so butterflies can take advantage of the early morning sun.




Best grown in moist, rich, well-drained soil in part shade. Tolerates full sun in cool summer climates. May rebloom in early summer if you remove spent flowers in the spring.


Mature Size: 15-18in. Tall x 12-15in. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 3-8

Sun Exposure: Part Shade

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