PLANT: Perennial with 1-5 leafy stems to 1 m tall, glabrous to pilose or villous. LEAVES: 3-10 cm long, 0.8-2 cm wide, glabrous to sparsely glandular; leaflets 15-27, lanceolate to elliptic or ovate, 5-25(-28) mm long, 5-7(-10) mm wide. INFLORESCENCE: open to congested, branched. FLOWERS: pedicels 2-8 mm long; calyx 5-8 mm long, the tube and lobes equal in length; corolla bluish-violet to white or light yellow, campanulate, 10-15 mm long, the lobes rounded and longer than the tube; anthers exserted; style exserted, usually exceeding the stamens. CAPSULE: 4-6 mm long; seeds 3-5 per locule. Populations vary geographically with respect to leaflet shape and corolla color. Vars. foliosissimum and flavum intergrade at several localities in the White Mts. NOTES: NV and ID, s to AZ and w NM. REFERENCES: Dieter H. Wilken and J. Mark Porter, 2005, Vascular Plants of Arizona: Polemoniaceae. CANOTIA 1: 1-37.
General: Perennial, 50-100 cm tall; stems 1 to several, glabrous or sparsely to densely pilose or villous; caudex branched; taprooted. Leaves: Cauline, numerous, alternate, deeply pinnatifid to pinnately compound, 3-10 cm long, 8-20 cm wide, leaflets mostly 11-25, lanceolate, ovate, or elliptic, 0.5-3 cm long, 5-10 m wide, glabrous to sparsely pubescent or glandular. Flowers: Inflorescence a leafy-bracted cyme of 2-3 flowers; pedicels glandular, short-villous; calyx 7-9 mm long, the membranes flat; corolla salverform, bright pink, the tube 10-17 mm long, the lobes 6-11 mm long, evidently notched at the apex; stamens attached on the mid portion of the corolla tube; style 2-5 mm long; stigmas located below the anthers; flowers April-June. Fruits: Capsule, globose to ovoid, 4-6 mm long; seeds 3-5 per locule. Ecology: Meadows, streambanks, oak woodlands, coniferous forests, rocky sites; 1700-3000 m (5500-10000 ft); Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Graham, Greenlee, Navajo, and Pima counties; southwestern U.S. Notes: Three varieties occur in Arizona and are differentiated as follows: var. foliosissimum has blue-violet flowers; var. alpinum has elliptic to narrowly ovate leaflets, and white or cream-colored flowers; and var. flavum has narrowly lanceolate to ovate leaflets and pale yellow flowers. Polemonium pulcherrimum ( Jacob-s ladder) is distinguished by plants being smaller and more compact (10-25 cm tall), often with a basal tuft of leaves and fewer cauline leaves. It is mostly found in crevices and rocky slopes of subalpine forests and above timberline. Ours, as here described, is ssp. delicatum [=P. delicatum]. Polemonium viscosum (sticky polemonium) is a perennial with a strongly disagreeable odor; herbage is densely stipitate-glandular or glandular-villous; leaflets are numerous, each 3-5 lobed, the lobes 1.5-6 mm long, 1-3 mm wide; inflorescence is densely head-like; corolla is funnelform, blue-violet to pale blue. It is known from the subalpine to alpine habitats of the San Francisco Peaks (Coconino County). Polemonium foliosissimum makes an attractive ornamental for the moist and shady native plant garden. Editor: Springer et al. 2008