Herbs & Plants

Polemonium caeruleum

Botanical Name : Polemonium caeruleum
Family: Polemoniaceae
Genus: Polemonium
Species: P. caeruleum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Names: Jacob’s-ladder or Greek valerian, Charity

Habitat : Polemonium caeruleum is native to Northern and central Europe, including Britain, to Siberia and the Caucasus. It grows on the margins of woods and swamps, by streams, especially on turf and usually in limestone hills.

Polemonium caeruleum is a hardy perennial flowering plant. The plant usually reaches a height from 45 to 60 centimeters (18 to 24 inches), but some occasionally will be taller than 90 centimeters (35 inches.) The spread of the plant is also 45 to 60 centimeters. It can grow in North American hardiness zone 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

A very easily grown plant, it prefers a moist well-drained fertile soil in sun or semi-shade. Dislikes damp or heavy soils, though it tolerates alkaline conditions. Hardy to at least -20°c[187]. A polymorphic species, there are several sub-species and many named forms. Plants are fairly short-lived in cultivation unless they are divided regularly and moved to fresh soil. They can self-sow to the point of nuisance, however and will also survive when growing in lush grass. Cats are strongly attracted by the smell of this plant and will frequently roll on it and injure it.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Another report says that the seed is best sown in a cold frame in the autumn. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in early spring or early autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Medicinal Uses:
The herb is astringent and diaphoretic.It was first used as a medicinal herb in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks used the root to treat dysentery, toothaches and animal bites. The plant was also found in a few European pharmacies during the nineteenth century and was used as an antisyphilitic agent and to treat rabies. It was used internally in the treatment of a wide range of conditions ranging from headaches to fevers and epilepsy. The plant is harvested in the summer and dried for later used. Today, the plant is not usually used medically.

Other uses:
Polemonium caeruleum was voted the County flower of Derbyshire in 2002 following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.

Today, the plant is usually used in potpourris and is boiled in olive oil to make black dyes and hair dressing, but it has few other significant uses.

Bees work the flowers for both pollen and nectar. Flowers of other species of Polemonium are also useful honey bee forage.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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