Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Polemonium caeruleum L.

Fully hardy, clump-forming perennial with compound leaves composed of up to 50 lance-shaped leaflets, and terminal or axillary cymes of open bell-shaped, lavender-blue, rarely white, flowers in early summer.  To 90cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

An ancient garden plant, grown by John Gerard in 1596 as Greeke Valerian.  Johnson’s Dictionary lists five varieties, album; grandiflorum; maculatum, spotted; piliferum Lindl., hairy; and variegatum, variegated leaf, to which Don adds picta, with variegated blue and white flowers and short stems.  ‘This plant [the variety piliforum] was raised in the Garden of the Horticultural Society, from seeds collected in the last Arctic Expedition, and presented to the Society by Dr. Richardson.’  [BR f.1303/1830].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [H.185/1845].


Published Feb 06, 2009 - 04:29 PM | Last updated Jul 29, 2010 - 05:17 PM

Illustrated are the pale blue, single flowers and composite leaves.  botanical Register f.1303, 1830.

Polemonium caeruleum L. | BR f.1303/1830 | BHL

Family Polemoniaceae
Region of origin

Europe, Asia, North America

Common Name

Greek valerian, Jacob’s ladder

Name in the Camden Park Record

Polemonium caeruleum 

Confidence level high