Sign up for News & Availability Emails
Site Search:
Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven' (creeping Jacob's ladder)

Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven' PP15187

creeping Jacob's ladder or Greek valerian

This excellent variegated selection of P. reptans was selected by Bill Cullina of The New England Wild Flower Society. A good plant for shade or a sunny edge (with adequate moisture). Imagine, a variegated Polemonium that actually lives! This native groundcover is very popular, and its royalties benefit the Garden in the Woods and their plant and habitat conservation.

Polemonium 'Stairway to Heaven' PP15187 - 72 per flat Availability
Additional royalty fee per flat Login for Pricing
Total price per flat Login for Pricing
Add to My North Creek Nurseries Wish List


15-18 Inches


12 Inches


12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

creeping Jacob's ladder Interesting Notes

This is a wild flower through much of the eastern woodlands and the Midwest plains. They are excellent foliage plants and provide fresh greenery all season. Plants are seldom over one foot high. The common name is a misnomer as the plant has a shallow rhizome and is not stoloniferous. The stems are weak and diffuse, but the plant doesn't creep nearly as fast as it reseeds. The 7-15 leaflets are about 1" long and topped by light blue, half-inch long flowers borne in loose drooping clusters (corymbs). After flowering, the plants are covered with tan-colored fruit, another wonderful attribute of this little-appreciated plant. If placed in partial shade and kept moist, plants are easy to grow, and may seed vigourously.

'Stairway to Heaven' is a yellow and green variegated form that is the best choice for a variegated ladder. Leaf tips are pink in the cool weather of spring. In the East and Midwest, plants keep their variegation until temperatures get consistently warm, then colors sort of melt together. Introduced by Bill Cullina of Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Massachusetts. - Allan Armitage, Herbaceous Perennial Plants

Blooming in late April, Jacob's ladder is a great plant for massing in the spring woodland garden. It produces loose upright shoots 12-18” tall with small, bell-shaped pale blue flowers borne in branched clusters. The leaves of Jacob's ladder are divided into many small segments, giving plants a strong architectural appearance. Jacob's ladder prefers partial shade to shade in moist well-drained soils. With its eye-catching flowers and foliage Jacob’s ladder is a nice complement to neighboring plants such as Arisaema triphyllumCaulophyllum thalictroidesSanguinaria canadensisPanax quinqefoliusTrillium spp., and other woodland garden plants. - Mt. Cuba Center

Polemonium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven' Growing and Maintenance Tips

Best in moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil in part to full shade.

Good Substitutions

creeping Jacob's ladder Polemonium reptans

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Green Infrastructure
Ornamental Foliage
Native to North America
Propagation Type
Tissue culture