Foxglove is the source of digitalis.

It is no coincidence that its generic name seems more pharmaceutical than horticultural. After all, the cardiac medication digitalis is an extract of foxglove, Digitalis purpurea. The plant is unfortunately very toxic. Because it naturalizes in several regions, it can be more hazardous than standardized medications. It can migrate undetected into home gardens.

Otherwise, foxglove is a delightful warm season annual with a rustic or woodsy style. It is actually a biennial that generates basal foliar rosettes during its first season, and blooms during its second season. Although technically monocarpic (so should die after bloom), it can produce a few short pups to bloom later. Seedlings can appear in random situations.

Plants from nurseries grew during a previous season, so are ready to bloom immediately for early summer. Their seedlings may grow through later summer and autumn, so might bloom for the following summer. Floral stalks generally stand between three and six feet tall. The tubular and somewhat pendant flowers are mostly pinkish purple, pink or white. A few modern varieties bloom yellow or apricot.


6 thoughts on “Foxglove

  1. They grow wild prolifically in Lancashire. My sweetheart once made a flower arrangement with foxgloves and barbed wire, but I was a bit wary about it because I had read how poisonous it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You were more wary about the flowers than the barbed wire?!
      Well, of the toxic flowers, I believe that it is one of the worse sorts. I happen to experience an unrelated skin allergy to it, so do not like to touch it anyway.


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