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Polemonium reptans  L.  var. reptans 
Johnson County, Kansas
Height: 6-30 inches, usually less than 16 inches
Family: Polemoniaceae - Polemonium Family
Flowering Period:   April, May
Also Called: Creeping polemonium, greek valerian.
Stems: 1-several, erect, ascending or spreading, at length reclining, slender, weak, branched, mostly glabrous.
Leaves: Alternate, long-stalked below, nearly sesile above, pinnately compound; leaflets 3-17, ovate to lanceolate, 2/5 to 2.8 inches long, 1/5 to 4/5 inch wide; margins entire; tips pointed.
Inflorescences: Cluster, few-flowered, loose, open, terminal.
Flowers: Showy, 3/5 to 4/5 inch broad, stalked; calyx bell-shaped, 1/5 to 1/4 inch long, lengthening in fruit, 5-lobed, minutely hairy; lobes triangular; corolla bell-shaped, 2/5 to 3/5 inch long, 5-lobed, pale blue to violet with white center; stamens 5, about same height, shorter than or equaling corolla; filaments slender; style exceeding stamens; stigmas 3.
Fruits: Capsule, egg-shaped to oblong, about 1/5 inch long, several-seeded, separating into 3 segments; seeds 5-7 per segment.
Habitat: Moist, rocky wooded hillsides, alluvial soil near streams.
Distribution: East 1/6 of Kansas.
Origin: Native
Uses: Native Americans took a compound containing the root as a diuretic and laxative.
Comments: Jacob's ladder varies from glabrous to sparsely pubescent. Ladder alludes to the ladder-like appearance of the pinnate leaves. Even though it is sometimes know by the common name creeping polemonium, it does not creep.

Jacob's ladder
40 KB
Johnson County, Kansas
Jacob's ladder leaves
108 KB
Johnson County, Kansas