Foxglove (Digitalis) is a garden favourite (especially for the cottage garden style), producing tall stalks of attractive flowers. It consists of around 20 species, some of which are hardy perennials and others of which are biennial or perennial.[1] The flowers are pretty but the flowering season is short. It is useful in that it will grow well in shade as well as in sunny areas of the garden. It is also attractive to bees and other pollinating insects, making it a helpful addition to the garden.

Description[edit | edit source]


Foxgloves grow tall and erect, with a basal clump of leaves that are large and coarse.

The flowers are bell-shaped. They range widely in colour, from purples and pinks to browns, yellows and whites, and variations in between. Some have freckled or spotted flowers.

  • Digitalis grandiflora: This is also known as yellow foxglove. It is a hardy and long-lived foxglove. The flowers are a pale yellow colour.
  • Digitalis purpurea: This is also known as common foxglove and is often grown in gardens. It has purple, rose-pink and pinkish-purple flowers, and sometimes white flowers. It tends to be grown as a biennial as it produces flowers in the second year, then dies down and even dies in the third year.

Growing foxgloves[edit | edit source]

Choose soil that drains well and is quite rich. The plant will appreciate the addition of well-composted compost or plant matter. In terms of position, it can handle sun through to shade.

All species can be grown from seed or seedlings, or by propagation for D. grandiflora. If propagating, divide in early spring.

Expect the flowers to appear in summer and sometimes in autumn (fall).

Caution[edit | edit source]

No part of the plant is safe for consumption; it is entirely to toxic to human beings and many animals, including dogs, cats, poultry and livestock. Even drinking the water stalks have sat in can poison people or animals.[1]

Sources and citations[edit | edit source]

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Authors Felicity
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
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Created January 17, 2016 by Felicity
Modified June 9, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
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