Polemonium_pulcherrimum 2This clump forming perennial is native to western North American from Alaska to California and into Arizona and New Mexico where it grows in dry rocky areas of mountains from foothills to the alpine zones. The basal leaves are four to six inches long and divided into thirty or less leaflets in a ladder-like arrangement to give a ferny look. Flowering stems have smaller leaves and are four to eight inches tall. In late spring to early summer each stem bears a dense cluster of bell-shaped flowers, ¼” across that are usually blue with yellow centers and white stamens but can be violet or near white. The skunk-like odor of the leaves is variable and is lacking in some plants. Plants self-seeds if happy in its site.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Small (1/4” across) light blue to near white flowers with yellow centers and white stamens are borne in summer.

Size: 8-12” H x 12” W

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained; does not tolerate drought

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed, division

Companion plants: Naturally occurs with Penstemon fruticosus var. scouleri, Pussytoes (Antennaria sp.), Anemone multifida, Kinnickinick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), and Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.).

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By Karen