Jacob’s ladder

(Question)

I live in Cold Lake, Alberta (250 mi. north east of Edmonton). In the local nursery I found a plant so beautiful that I just had to have it. When I got it home and checked the internet, it turned out to be a Jacob’s Ladder. It is a perennial that likes moist soil and partial shade. That means I would have to put it in the back of the garden, where I would never see it. Is there any way it could be a house plant? So lovely, I want to see it every day.

(Answer)

 

I have been unable to find a reference to your plant (which you have since confirmed to be a variegated Jacob’s ladder or Polemonium caeruleum Brise d’Anjou) as a houseplant. However, since it is known to spread quickly to fill a shaded or partly shaded area, perhaps once it spreads (next year or later) you could try dividing it and bringing one piece inside as an experiment.

Its common names of Jacob’s ladder and red-bird flower also refer to the plant Pedilanthus tithymaloides, which could be grown as a houseplant. That’s the problem with common names: they can refer to different plants altogether. Botanical or Latin names are, therefore, usually more reliable.