Few plants have flowers that are as appealing as common foxglove.  The 2-3″ long blooms that cover the 4-5′ tall flowering stalks are purple with enticing spots inside and appear to be perfect for fitting on the fingers.   The fanciful name, foxglove, is tied to a folk myth that foxes wore the flowers on their paws to silence their movements as they stalked their prey.  The myth was enhanced by the fact that the plants sported their beautiful flowers throughout the woody areas where the foxes’ dens were located.  Other names for the plants have arisen such as lady’s glove, fairy gloves,  fairy bells, and witch’s glove, but the nod to foxes is most common and makes them perfect for a plant zoo.  Although common foxglove is the most well known of the 20 species of  foxglove there are other garden worthy ones including rusty foxglove (Digitalis. ferruginea), large-flowered foxglove (D. grandiflora), straw foxglove ( D. lutea), and small-flowered foxglove (D. parviflora). N.B. Foxglove leaves, flowers and seed are considered poisonous to humans and some other animals.

Type: Biennial or short-lived perennial

Height: 4-5′

Bloom Color: Purple (but pink and white varieties are available)

Bloom Time: Late spring to mid summer

Size: 4-5’ H x 3’ W

Light: Sun or light shade

Soil: Humus-rich, moist, well-drained, acidic

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Karen