A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Elegant Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium elegans)

DSC04826 (2).jpg

Marmot Pass, Buckhorn Wilderness, 7/2017.

We found this version of Jacob’s Ladder in the stark, rocky, alpine zone of Marmot Pass at the eastern edge of the Olympic Mountains, along with phlox, cutleaf fleabane (see third photo), and moss campion. It is less common in our travels than its moist, forest sibling polemonium pulcherrimum. We have yet to find Skunky Jacob’s-ladder (polemonium viscosum) whose leaves are more curled up, seen more often in the drier east side of the Cascades and Rocky Mountains.

IMG_6194.JPG

Marmot Pass, Buckhorn Wilderness, 7/2017.

All three varieties have similar yellow-centered blue flowers, and share the telltale paired leaflets on each stem that resemble “ladders.” They are also all “stinky” to some degree, due to gland-tipped hairs that cover most of the plant. The skunky odor helps them repel nectar-robbing non- pollinators, such as ants, and is supposedly more pronounced in areas where ants abound.

IMG_6217.JPG

Marmot Pass, Buckhorn Wilderness, 7/2017.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s