Strawberry foxglove is a short-lived herbaceous perennial and member of the plantian family, Plantaginaceae, that also includes snapdragon, turtlehead, and Veronica. It is a tetraploid hybrid resulting from a cross between Digitalis purpurea and D. grandiflora. A rosette of Ovate, velvety leaves 6-8″ long give rise in early summer to leafy stems 3-4′ tall with terminal racemes of closely packed nodding flowers. Each funnel-shaped flower is coppery-pink, and 2-3″ long and attractive to hummingbirds. Plants reseed themselves. e plants are striking when in bloom and add an architectural element to borders as well as a touch of nostalgia to cottage and woodland gardens; excellent cut flower. The genus name, Digitalis, comes from the Latin word digitus meaning finger and refers to the appearance of the flowers. The specific epithet, mertonensis, honors Merton, England, the place where the hybrid was produced in 1925.
Type: Short-lived herbaceous perennial
Bloom:Racemes of closely packed, nodding, funnel-shaped, coppery pink flowers 2-3″ long in early summer
Size: 3-4′ H x 2′ W
Light: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Average, moist, well-drained, slightly acidic
Hardiness: Zones 3-8
Care: Remove flowering stalks after bloom to encourage rebloom; divide every 2-3 years to maintain vigor.
Pests and Diseases: Aphids, mealy bugs, slugs, Japanese beetles, powdery mildew, leaf spot, crown rot
Propagation: Seed, division
Companion Plants: Asiatic lilies, goats beard, Siberian iris, ferns, hosta