Common name: Foxglove

Scientific name: Digitalis purpurea

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Uses: Ornamental, medicinal.Attractive flowers. Use for shade. Poisonous if ingested. Both synthetic and natural forms are used to treat heart failure.

History: Native to western and central Europe and the British Isles. It is said that Vincent van Gogh took digitalis for epilepsy, and that the yellow vision this drug creates may have influenced his art.

Description: Flowers are tubular, bell-shaped and hanging, 1.5-3 inches long. They hgave 4 stamens, a 5 pointed calyx and are borne on one side of a spike. Leaves are 6-12 inches long and 3-4 inches wide. They are alternate, ovate to lanceolate, toothed, wrinkled, hairy, deep green and conspicuously veined. Lower leaves have long stalks.

Plant type: Biennial

Hardiness: Hardiness zone 4-8

Height: 4-8 feet

Width: 1 foot

Light: Full sun to partial shade


Pests: Japanese beetles, mealybugs

Disease: mosaic virus, curly top, wilt, anthracnose, leaf spot

Cultivation: Sow seed as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring or start indoors. Plants need good drainage. Sow seed the year before the plant is expected to flower. Remove the central spike flower to increases side shoots.
Companion planting:

Propagation: Seed, division.

Flowering period: June to July

Flower color: lavender to reddish

Harvesting: Harvest cut flowers just prior to the last few buds opening.

Garden notes: