Thursday, July 5, 2007

Showy Jacob's Ladder

Showy Jacob's Ladder
(Polemonium pulcherrimum)

This specimum Showy Jacob's Ladder was found on the Hurricane Hill Trail in the Olympic National Park.

"The common name refers to the ladder-like arrangment of the leaflets and alludes to Jacob's ascent to heaven up a ladder, as described in the book of Genesis. The skunk-like smell of the bruised leaves earns this spcies another common name -- skunk-weed. Despite the smell of the leaves, it lives up to its scientiffic name pulcherrimum which means 'very handsome.' The genus name Polemonium comes from the Gree polemos (war) and refers to a legend about two kings who apparently took to the battle field to prove who first discovered the alleged medicinal properties of Jacob's Ladder." Taken from Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia and the Inland Northwest" by Parish Coupe Lloyd.

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