Digitalis 

(di-gi-tal' iss)

Common name: Foxglove

Family:Scrophulariaceae, Figwort

Height x width: 2-5' x 1-3'

Growth rate, habit: moderate; upright spikes from basal growth

Foliage: basal rosettes and alternate, entire

Flowers: reds, yellow, white racemes in spring or summer (photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden plantfinder)

Hardiness: zones 3-4 to 7-8

Soil: prefer well-drained, organic, moist, tolerate many

Light: part shade, tolerate sun in zones 3-5 if moisture

Pests and problems: anthracnose, fungal leaf spots and root and stem rots, verticillium wilt; viruses; aphids, beetles, mites, mealybugs, nematodes

Landscape habit, uses: borders, shade or woodland gardens

Other interest: genus name means "finger-like" resembling fingers of a glove with ends cut off; family name from fact purpurea was used in 13th century for "scrofulous complaints"

Other culture: biennial and perennial species, remove biennials from garden after they reseed

Propagation: seed, division

Species:

ambigua:grandiflora

ferruginea (ferr-uu-gin' ee-ah)--Rusty Foxglove, zones 4-7, 4-5' x 1-2', brownish red flowers in early summer, biennial

grandiflora (gran-di-floor' ah)--Yellow Foxglove, zones 3-8, 2-3' x 1-2', large yellow flowers in summer, toothed and hairy leaves, adaptable to many conditions (photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden plantfinder)

lanata (la-nah' tah)--Grecian Foxglove, zones 3-7, 1-2' x 1', pale white flowers with purplish inner netting in dense raceme, generally perennial

lutea (luu-tee' ah)--Straw Foxglove, zones 3-7, 2-3' x 1', yellow flowers in summer smaller than grandiflora, 4-6" serrated leaves, not heat tolerant

x mertonensis (mer-toe-nen' siss)--Strawberry Foxglove, zones 3-8, 3-4' x 2', rose 2-3" flowers in summer, tetraploid from a cross of purpurea and grandiflora, 6-8" long velvety leaves, generally biennial

obscura (ob-scur' ah)--Willow Foxglove, zones 5-7, 1 1/2-2' x 1', beige yellow flowers with red inner veins, flowers nodding, linear leaves, shrubby habit

parviflora (par-ve-floor' ah)--Spanish Foxglove, zones 5-7, 2-3' x 1', reddish brown flowers in dense cylindrical racemes, flowers in late spring and early summer on unbranched stems, perennial

purpurea (pur-pur' ee-ah)--Common Foxglove, zones 4-8, 4-5' x 3', lavender flowers with purple and white spots in spring, wrinkled and downy leaves, native and naturalized in British Isles, source of heart drug digitalin
 
 Cultivars:
 
Cultivars, other taxa species flowers other
f. albiflora ('Alba') purpurea white  
Excelsior Group purpurea mix, 2-3" long flowers around stalk
'Foxy' purpurea mix, like Excelsior blooms first year 
Giant Shirley Group purpurea pink mottled shades 4-5' or taller
'Gigantea' ferruginea yellowish brown 4-5' tall
'Sutton's Apricot' purpurea apricot, large  
'Temple Bells' grandiflora yellow, smaller than species blooms first year  

 


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | HGPO course | PSS123 course