Spreading Jacob’s ladder Polemonium reptans, copyright Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz.

Belongs within: Ericales.
Contains: Phlox, Navarretia, Gilia, Linanthus, Eriastrum.

The Polemoniaceae are a group of mostly herbaceous, often strong-smelling plants native to Eurasia and the Americas. The Cobaeoideae of the tropical Americas are mostly mesic vines (more rarely small trees or herbs) bearing large flowers.

Characters (from Hickman 1993): Annuals, perennials, shrubs, or vines. Leaves simple or compound, cauline (or most in basal rosette), alternate or opposite; stipules absent. Inflorescences are cymes, heads, or flowers solitary. Flower with calyx generally five-ribbed, ribs often connected by translucent membranes that are generally torn by growing fruit; corolla generally five-lobed, radial or bilateral, salverform to bell-shaped, throat often well defined; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, attached at same or different levels, filaments of same or different lengths, pollen white, yellow, blue, or red; ovary superior, chambers generally 3, style 1, stigmas generally 3. Fruit a capsule. Seeds 1–many, gelatinous or not when wet.

|--Acanthogilia [Acanthogilioideae]T00
| |--BonplandiaT00
| |--CantuaT00
| `--CobaeaT00
`--PolemoniumCS77 [PolemonioideaeT00]
|--P. acutiflorumCS77
|--P. californicumH93
|--P. carneumH93
|--P. chartaceumH93
|--P. elegansH93
|--P. eximiumH93
|--P. micranthumH93
|--P. occidentale [incl. P. caeruleum ssp. amygdalinum]H93
|--P. pulcherrimumH93
| |--P. p. var. pulcherrimumH93
| `--P. p. var. pilosumH93
`--P. reptansD37

Polemoniaceae incertae sedis:
|--I. aggregataWMS97
| |--I. a. ssp. aggregataWMS97
| |--I. a. ssp. bridgesiiH93
| `--I. a. ssp. formosissimaWMS97
|--I. arizonica [=I. aggregata ssp. arizonica]H93
|--I. congestaH93
| |--I. c. ssp. congestaH93
| |--I. c. ssp. montanaH93
| `--I. c. ssp. palmifronsH93
|--I. depressaH93
|--I. effusaH93
|--I. macrosiphonWMS97
|--I. polycladonH93
|--I. tenuifolia [=Loeselia tenuifolia]H93
`--I. tenuitubaWMS97
|--I. t. ssp. tenuitubaWMS97
`--I. t. ssp. latilobaWMS97
|--C. coccineaC06
|--C. diversifoliaH93
|--C. gracilisD03
|--C. grandifloraC55
|--C. heterophyllaH93
|--C. larsenii [=C. debilis var. larsenii]H93
|--C. linearisH93
|--C. tinctoriaH93
`--C. tracyiH93
|--A. divaricatumH93
|--A. gilioidesH93
| |--A. g. ssp. gilioidesH93
| `--A. g. ssp. violaceumH93
|--A. glutinosumH93
`--A. integrifoliumH93
|--G. nudicaulisH93
`--G. parvulaH93
Langloisia setosissimaH93
|--L. s. ssp. setosissimaH93
`--L. s. ssp. punctataH93
|--L. californicum (see below for synonymy)H93
|--L. jaegeriH93
`--L. pungens [incl. L. pungens ssp. hallii, L. pungens ssp. hookeri, L. pungens ssp. pulchriflorum]H93
|--L. matthewsii [=Langloisia matthewsii]H93
`--L. schottii [=Langloisia schottii]H93

Leptodactylon californicum [incl. L. californicum ssp. brevitrichomum, L. californicum ssp. glandulosum, L. californicum ssp. leptotrichomum, L. californicum ssp. tomentosum]H93

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BR65] Black, J. M., & E. L. Robertson. 1965. Flora of South Australia. Part IV. Oleaceae–Compositae. W. L. Hawes, Government Printer: Adelaide.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[CS77] Cramp, S., & K. E. L. Simmons (eds) 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palaearctic vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

[D37] Dobzhansky, T. 1937. Genetics and the Origin of Species. Columbia University Press: New York.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[G39] Grisebach, A. H. R. 1839. Genera et Species Gentianearum adjectis observationibus quibusdam phytogeographicis. J. G. Cotta: Stuttgardt.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[MD82] Mishler, B. D., & M. J. Donoghue. 1982. Species concepts: a case for pluralism. Systematic Zoology 31 (4): 491–503.

[T00] Thorne, R. F. 2000. The classification and geography of the flowering plants: dicotyledons of the class Angiospermae (subclasses Magnoliidae, Ranunculidae, Caryophyllidae, Dilleniidae, Rosidae, Asteridae, and Lamiidae). The Botanical Review 66: 441–647.

[WMS97] Wolf, P. G., R. A. Murray & S. D. Sipes. 1997. Species-independent, geographical structuring of chloroplast DNA haplotypes in a montane herb Ipomopsis (Polemoniaceae). Molecular Ecology 6: 283–291.

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