A native of the mountains of northern Spain, this  short-lived herbaceous perennial is a member of the plantian family, Plantaginaceae, that also includes snapdragon, turtlehead, and Veronica.  A basal rosette of gray green, lanceolate , downy leaves gives rise to a raceme of densely packed flowers in late spring to mid-summer.  Each reddish brown flower is darkly veined, tubular, and 1/2″ long. Plants grow 2-3′ tall and are useful in borders, as well as in cottage and informal gardens. The genus name, Digitalis, comes from the Latin word digitus meaning finger and refers to the appearance of the flowers.  The specific epithet, parviflora, comes from the Latin words parvus meaning small, and flos meaning flower.

Type: Short-lived herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Densely packed raceme of reddish brown darkly veined tubular, 1/2″ long flowers in late spring to mid-summer

Size: 2-3′ H x 1′ W

Light:Part shade

Soil:Average, medium moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Care: Remove flowering stems after blooming to encourage rebloom

Pests and Diseases: Aphids, eelworms, powdery mildew, leaf spot

Propagation: Seed, division in early spring

Companion Plants: Hosta, ferns, epimedium


Photo Credit: H Zell, Wikimedia Commons


By Karen