Digitalis purpurea

Scientific name: Digitalis purpurea


Common names: “Common foxglove” “bloody bells” “bloody finger” “cow flop” “dog’s lugs” “dragon’s mouth” “fairy fingers” “finger flower” “flap dock” “folk’s gloves” “fox finger” “lion’s mouth” “lustmore” “throat root”

Plant Type: Herbaceous biennial


Zone: 4-8

Light: Best in part shade but can take full sun

Exposure: Exposed or sheltered

Soil: Any soil

Moisture: Moist well drained, small plant with less moisture


Plant Size: H 2-5′ W 1′

Leaf and Stem shape: Rosette of softly hairy, oval leaves

Flower: tall, one-sided spires of pendant, tubular, bright rosy-purple flowers in summer, spotted within

Maintenance: Zero, can cut back after flowering

Landscape use: Flower beds, shrub underplanting, coastal cottage, wildflower meadow, informal

Propagate: By seed, self sows prolificly

Pests & Disease: Generally healthy, can get aphids

*Deer proof

Comments: All parts toxic, used to make heart medicine, usually pop up in recently disturbed sites and can establish in a garden as a perennial

Cultivars: ~AGM winners include: D. p. f. albiflora (Thompson & Morgan) , D. p. (Gloxinioides Group) ‘The Shirley’ , D. p. Excelsior Group (Suttons; Unwins) , D. p. ‘Suttons Apricot’ , Digitalis mertonensis


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