U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Foxglove, The Beautiful

Click on the pictures to enjoy them

Hermes ( posted a beautiful picture of foxgloves recently. I live not far from the Foxglove Drive and understand why they gave that street such a name. Foxgloves grow everywhere in our neighborhood.

Other names for Digitalis: Fairy's Glove. Gloves of Our Lady. Bloody Fingers. Virgin's Glove. Fairy Caps. Folk's Glove. Fairy Thimbles. (Norwegian) Revbielde. (German) Fingerhut.

The digitalis plant may contain several deadly physiological and chemically related
cardiac and steroidal glycosides. It explains such names as Dead Men's Bells and Witches' Gloves.

I found the following interesting information here : The Foxglove derives its common name from the shape of the flowers resembling the finger of a glove. It was originally Folksglove - the glove of the 'good folk' or fairies, whose favourite haunts were supposed to be in the deep hollows and woody dells, where the Foxglove delights to grow. Folksglove is one of its oldest names, and is mentioned in a list of plants in the time of Edward III. Its Norwegian name, Revbielde (Foxbell), is the only foreign one that alludes to the Fox, though there is a northern legend that bad fairies gave these blossoms to the fox that he might put them on his toes to soften his tread when he prowled among the roosts.

I never planted it in my garden. It came itself and made a home here. It self seeds and becomes a weed, sometimes. Then, I just remove extra plants. I love foxgloves. They look good, they are heat tolerant and care-free, at least in my place.

Good focal point:

It's so tall, it can be seen from a far.

Somehow, seeds spreaded even to my kitchen garden that is pretty far from the perennial bed.

It is TALL, I checked!

Nice cut flowers. It's difficult to believe that it is poisonous.

The flowers of the Foxglove are tubular, and vary in colour with species, from purple to pink, white, and yellow. The best-known species is the Common Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea. It is a biennial, often grown as an ornamental plant due to its showy flowers, that range in colour from purples through to whites, with variable marks and spotting. The first year of growth produces only the long, basal leaves. In the second year, the erect leafy stem 0.5-2.5 m tall develops. (Wikipedia).

They recommend to grow foxgloves in partial shade in rich soil. In my garden, it grows in full sun and average soil, too. Zones 4-8.


  1. Love the Foxgloves! There's not too
    many flowers that reaches that height
    I only have 2, a Purple Loostrife,
    and Holly Hocks... Not as pretty as
    the Foxgloves..

  2. I can't believe how tall your foxgloves get, Tatyana! I have two varieties and the tallest are only about 3-4 feet. Maybe I should try them in full sun. Very pretty.

  3. I love foxglove. We have the same type in our garden. I also never planted them, but let them grow in the front flower beds where the dog and my little one go only with supervision. I remember in nursing school learning about digitalis. It is used to slow and regulate the heartbeat. Definitely one to be careful of with pets and kids, but so pretty!

  4. I have often wanted to try growing foxgloves, but never have for some reason. Yours are so pretty, and it is nice that they reseed for you.

    Always Growing

  5. Who can ever have too many fairy flowers.

    These people have seeds of species and forms I have never seen anywhere else:

  6. They are so pretty. I've tried and tried to get them established in my garden with no luck. One more time and that is it. Wish me luck!

  7. I really enjoy your posts like this, with photos and information.

    I believe they like sandy soil too - there are lots on a walk I do that is like that.

    I've also never planted foxglove, and I love the way they pop up in different places every couple of years. Sometimes a place seems so good that try to transplant a seedling there, but they never seem to do as well as when they choose their own home.

  8. Tatyana, that is a great addition to your garden. It added nice verticle height and interest. Very pretty. These don't grow very well here, I cannot seem to get them to come back.

  9. Hi,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog(-: I enjoyed all your beautiful pictures!!!
    Foxgloves don't grow as big here in the hot/dry part of Northern California. I love them though and plant some every year(-:

  10. Hi Tatyana
    I was looking at the beautiful pics of the sea which you have posted. Is that nearby where you live it is beautiful and the photos are very nice.

    I am wondering have a copyright on your pics do you do that?

    and I will keep reading.

  11. Those foxgloves are the largest I've ever seen, I can safely say! But they're lovely. I'm very glad to have found your blog. :)

  12. The foxglove I've grown hasn't gotten as tall as yours. They are gorgeous! I just hope mine have sown some seeds and I get a good stand of them.

  13. Cathy, thanks! Hollyhocks are pretty, but they always get rusty in my garden. Any secret?

    Donna, they say to grow them in part shade, but mine grow tall in part shade(in the kitchen garden) and full sun (near the bench).Try sun!

    Catherine, thank you. Firstly, I found them in my garden and then, learned about poison. Somehow, nobody touches them. I want to have a castor bean plant, but don't buy it because it's poisonous.

    Jan, thanks! Yes, this is exactly why I have them - they came here on their own and take care of themselves. Easy!

    Hermes, thanks for your post and for this link - I'll check it!

    Tina, thank you! I'll try to collect seeds for you.

    Emily, thanks! You are absolutely right - they chose the spot and don't like to be moved!

    Heather, thank you! If I manage to get seeds, I'll send some to you. Maybe, one variety is easier than another.

    Cindee, thanks for stopping by! I want to see the pictures of your foxgloves one day! OK?!

    Serena, those particular pics were taken from Seattle Space Needle - less than 1.5 hours from us. We live on the peninsula, not far from the water, but we don't have a water view, unfortunately.

    Nancy, I am glad you found my blog! Thanks for the comment. I love your posts.

  14. Sue, thanks for stopping by! I never tried to get its seeds, don't even know how they look. But I want to collect them this year.Then I can share with other gardeners.

  15. Tatyana,

    Really nice article and killer photos, my hat is off to you! I planted foxgloves one year then the second year I had an incredible blooming the plants was as big around as a garbage can lid. The next year ca put...

  16. Randy, you are so kind! Thanks! It's a puzzle - why didn't it return next year. It sounds like it was happy in your garden since it grew so big. Hmmm... I am wondering if it depends on a variety. Need to do some research. And, as I said already, I need to try to get seeds from my plants.

  17. Those are gorgeous! Nothing at my place is over 4" tall yet...and I don't ave foxgloves. Might rethink that.

  18. Tatyana, love the first photo with the blue bench! Wow, those foxgloves ARE tall! I grow the variety with the fuzzy leaves as the deer tend to not eat those..but they only get 2 ft. or so. Great information, too...I never realized they went by so many names! Btw, your puget sound photos are amazing!!

  19. Hi Tatyana

    Aren't they beautiful. You have the perfect climate to grow them.

    Great photos by the way.

    Thanks, I enjoyed reading this.

  20. I bought a foxglove last summer and planted it in a pot, due to my dogs. I can't wait until it blooms. I would love to have it spread, but am afraid of the poisonous aspect...

  21. Foxgloves are one of my absolute favourite flowers, Tatyana. I have a number of different species, including the standard ones that can grow so very tall, and they just make my heart happy.

  22. Tatyana, This is the first I've seen of your gardens and I'm impressed. Gorgeous, gorgeous. Your talent is obvious. I love foxgloves too. Actually my appeal ebbs and flows as it does with many plants. Last summer a few clumps popped up and I didn't have the heart to yank them so I'll have those towering beauties again in a few months. I love how the bumblebees wiggle into them.

  23. Amazing!! I have never seen foxgloves so tall! Actually, I don't have any myself, and am not very familiar with them-but I've seen them here and there, just never so giant-sized! Your entire garden is filling me with envy. (Not a negative kind of envy;-0))

    I'm just in awe of all of those flowers in your gardens. I wish I could snap my fingers and have them all here!

    You shared some very interesting info. about foxgloves. Though pretty, I'd almost be afraid to grow them! Cardiac effects, etc? Scary stuff!!

    But they are pretty. Just be careful;)

  24. Stopping by to say hi, and wow! Do you think things are back to normal on Blotanical? Things still seem to be Vanishing........ Have a great day,

  25. Hi.
    Yes they are so lovely the foxgloves. We call them Fingerborgsblomma in Sweden
    I have them in the garden. But I must keep an eye on them when the seeds are coming in the autumn or I have them spreed over the garden.
    But they are so beautiful.

  26. Thank you, everyone, for nice comments! I am eager to see the pictures of your foxgloves - who has them. Who doesn't have them - I'll try to get seeds to share with you!


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