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Royal Sky Pilot
Polemonium carneum
About Royal Sky Pilot (Polemonium carneum) 3 Nurseries Carry This Plant Polemonium carneum is a plant native to the northwestern United States west of the Cascade Range in Washington south to the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Common names include royal Jacob's ladder, great polemonium, and salmon polemonium. It grows in the lowlands and in prairies to moderate elevations in the mountains, and inhabits woody thickets, open and moist forests, prairie edges, and roadsides. This is a rhizomatous perennial herb producing one or more stems decumbent in form or erect to a maximum height near one meter. The leaves are compound with up to 21 leaflets each. The sticky-haired leaflets are somewhat lance-shaped and up to 4 centimeters long. The flower cluster is an open, spreading cluster of 3 to 7 flowers each borne on a thin peduncle. The flower is widely bell-shaped with a five-lobed corolla that may spread to nearly 3 centimeters wide. The flower corolla may be any shade of pale pink, salmon pink, yellow, or pale lavender to medium purple.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

1.3 - 3.3 ft tall

Landscaping Information
Shade, Part Shade



Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
5, 6*, 15*, 16*, 17

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Open places

Annual Precipitation: 17.3" - 107.9", Summer Precipitation: 0.31" - 3.93", Coldest Month: 37.6" - 50.0", Hottest Month: 55.1" - 68.0", Humidity: 0.40" - 18.85", Elevation: -133" - 4667"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Royal Jacob's-ladder

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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