Stems herbaceous, erect, smooth below, a little pubescent above, 1 to 3 feet tall, from a stout, horizontal, perennial rootstock clothed with numerous fibrous roots. Basal leaves 6 to 12 inches long, odd-pinnate, with eleven to seventeen sessile, ovate-lanceolate, pointed leaflets, one-half to 11/2 inches long; stem leaves and upper leaves with only three to seven leaflets. Flowers bluish purple or blue, three-fourths to 1 inch broad in terminal or panicled cymose clusters; corolla tubular-campanulate with five rounded lobes, the five stamens projecting out of the flower.
Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum
American Jacob's Ladder - Polemonium van-bruntiae
In swamps, marshy meadows and along streams, Vermont and New York to Maryland. Flowering from the latter part of May until July.
A local plant, as beautiful as it is rare. It has been found locally abundant at several places in the southern and western portions of the Catskills, in the Schoharie valley, southern Herkimer county and at Peterboro, Madison county.
The Greek Valerian or Bluebell (Polemonium reptans Linnaeus) occurs in woods from western New York, westward. It is entirely smooth, the stems weak and reclining, only the tips erect; the blue flowers one-half to two-thirds of an inch broad and the stamens not projecting from the flower.