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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Polemonium caeruleum 'Brise D'Anjou'VARIEGATED JACOB'S LADDER
Pronounced: po-lee-MOE-nee-um seh-RU-lee-um
Sunset zones: 1-11, 14-17.
USDA zones: 4-8.
Height: 18-24 inches (45-60 cm).
Width: 18-24 inches (45-60 cm).
Late spring to midsummer.
Cymes of violet-blue flowers.
Two pinnate leaves, creamy-edged with fern-like foliage.
Partial to full shade.
Fertile, moist but well-drained soil.
Divide in spring or fall every three years.
Pests and Diseases:
No serious insect or disease problems.
Rainy Side Notes
Striking variegated foliage makes this Jacob's ladder a must for the shade garden! I remember the first time I saw this plant I immediately fell in love with it. At the time, I couldn't see spending the money for the plant, as it was very expensive. The year the price went down to a much more reasonable amount, I snatched up three plants. This year I was given another one and I impatiently wait for the time to divide my plants to place in other shady areas of the garden.
P. 'Brise D'Anjou' (pronounced breeze DAWN jhew) translates to Breeze of Anjou. Rene and Maurice Prouteau discovered the plant in Anjou, France. With the picturesque Loire River and vineyards surrounding Anjou, this plant must have added to the breeze of Anjou. Many variegated forms of polemonium were noted in 18th century texts, but few plants were to be found. When the Prouteaus discovered this sport in the French countryside, they found the plant was stabile. It certainly is proving to be a reliable plant in my garden.
This Jacob's ladder makes an excellent container specimen paired with other partial shade tolerant plants. The variegated leaves add a textural dimension to the containers.
Photographed in author's garden.
Perennials indexed by botanical names. Click on corresponding letter below.