Page author: David Giblin
Polemonium viscosum
sticky Jacob's-ladder, sticky polemonium

Distribution: Know only from Okanogan County, Washington in Washington; British Columbia south to Oregon and Nevada, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Open rocky places at high elevations in the mountains, commonly above timberline.

Flowers: July-September

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Sensitive in Washington (WANHP)


Low perennial from a stout, branched taproot, the stem up to 2 dm. tall, strongly glandular and smelling of skunk.


Leaves mostly basal, pinnate, up to 1.5 dm. long including the short petiole; leaflets crowded, numerous, 2-5 cleft nearly to the base, the individual segments 1.5-6 mm. long and 1-3 mm. wide


Inflorescence capitate; calyx herbaceous, 7-12 mm. long, the 5 narrow, pointed lobes shorter than the tube; corolla blue, funnel-shaped, 17-25 mm. long, noticeably longer than wide, the tube longer than the 5 lobes; stamens shorter than the corolla; style 3-parted; ovary superior.


Capsule 3-celled.

Accepted Name:
Polemonium viscosum Nutt.
Publication: J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, ser. 2, 1: 154. 1848.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Polemonium viscosum Nutt. ssp. genuinum Wherry
Polemonium viscosum Nutt. ssp. lemmonii (Brand) Wherry
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Polemonium viscosum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Polemonium viscosum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Polemonium viscosum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Polemonium viscosum photos.

USDA Plants: Polemonium viscosum information.

13 photographs:
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