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Sky Pilot
Polemonium pulcherrimum
About Sky Pilot (Polemonium pulcherrimum) 1 Nurseries Carry This Plant Polemonium pulcherrimum is a species of flowering plant in the phlox family known by several common names, including beautiful Jacob's-ladder, showy Jacob's-ladder, and skunk-leaved polemonium. It is native to western North America from Alaska and Yukon to Arizona and New Mexico, where it can be found in many types of mountain habitat, including alpine talus at high elevations. It is a common and widespread wildflower in several regions. It is a perennial herb producing a clump of several erect stem approaching a maximum height of 30 centimeters. The leaves are mostly basal, with smaller ones arranged along the stem. The leaves are made up of several pairs of lance-shaped to oval or round leaflets. The herbage is lightly hairy, densely hairy, sticky, and strongly scented, the odor reminiscent of skunk. The showy flower cluster is a dense elongated or headlike cluster of bell-shaped flowers each just under a centimeter wide. The flower is deep to bright or pale blue to nearly white with a yellow throat.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

0.16 - 1 ft tall

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Part Shade

Very Low


For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type

Annual Precipitation: 20.8" - 121.2", Summer Precipitation: 1.07" - 4.18", Coldest Month: 11.1" - 43.4", Hottest Month: 34.4" - 62.8", Humidity: 0.97" - 16.28", Elevation: 4877" - 14034"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Beautiful Jacob's-ladder, Pretty Jacob's-ladder, Showy Jacob's-ladder, Skunkleaf Polemonium

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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