Jacob’s Ladder is a hardy native perennial that grows from Georgia to New York, Mississippi, Oklahoma to Minnesota. Its blue/purple flowers emerge in late spring but it will sprout new stems and foliage in early spring. The picture above was taken in our garden where it is planted beside our native Wisteria arbor. It get morning sun and has dapple shade in the afternoon. It was rescued about four years ago. It will go dormant during the hot humid months of August and September. It got its name from the ladder like arrangements of its leaves. However, in some native tribes, the plant name means “smells like pine” which refers to the smell of its roots.
The Cherokee would use the roots of Jacob’s Ladder as a root tea to induce sweating and as an astringent for eczema. The roots were also used for pleurisy, fevers, snakebites, bowel complaints, and bronchial afflictions.
Jacob’s Ladder is available through many on-line native plant nurseries and can be found at your better local plant nurseries. We highly recommend doing a web search for native plant nurseries in your local area. All native plants are beneficial to the environment and pollinators.