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Purple foxglove

Botanical Name:

Digitalis purpurea

Common Name:

Purple foxglove,Digitale pourpre,Common foxglove,Foxglove,Lady's Glove,Bloody Bells,Bloody Finger,Dragon's Mouth,Fairy Bells,Fairy Fingers,Fairy Gloves,Fairy Thimbles,Fairy's Cap,Fairy's Petticoat,Fairy's Thimble,Fox Finger,Gloves of Mary,Lady's Fingers,Lady's Thimble,Lion's Mouth,Lusmore,Lustmore,Thimble Finger,Thimble Flower,Throat Root,Witches' Bells,Witches' Fingers,Witches' Gloves,Witches' Thimbles,Fairy's Glove

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Description

Digitalis purpurea is an herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant. The leaves are spirally arranged, simple, 10–35 cm (3.9–13.8 in) long and 5–12 cm (2–5 in) broad, and are covered with gray-white pubescent and glandular hairs, imparting a woolly texture. The foliage forms a tight rosette at ground level in the first year. The flowering stem develops in the second year, typically 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) tall, sometimes longer. The flowers are arranged in a showy, terminal, elongated cluster, and each flower is tubular and pendent. The flowers are typically purple, but some plants, especially those under cultivation, may be pink, rose, yellow, or white. The inside surface of the flower tube is heavily spotted. The flowering period is early summer, sometimes with additional flower stems developing later in the season. The plant is frequented by bees, which climb right inside the flower tube to gain the nectar within. The fruit is a capsule which splits open at maturity to release the numerous tiny 0.1-0.2 mm seeds.

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Taxonomy

Order

Scrophulariales

Family

Digitalis - Foxgloves

Genus

Digitalis

Characteristics

Bloom Time

Late spring or early summer, Summer, Late summer or early fall, Spring

Plant Type

Perennials, Herb/Forb, Annual, Perennial, Poisonous, Biennial or perennial herb up to 75 (125) cm. tall, erect, shortly pubescent or lanate above, glabrescent below.

Lifespan

Biennial

Flower

Blooms grow on tall spikes as a 1-sided raceme with blooms closely grouped together. They are 2-3 inch long tubular flowers and come in multiple colors of white, pinks and purple with purple and white spots inside the petals. An elongate, terminal raceme, 1-2' long to sparcely branched, bracteate, with flowers subsecund, borne on one side, or borne around the rachis in some hybrids. Flowers are large, nodding, purple to pale pink or white, mauve or yellowish in some hybrids; corolla tube inflated, campanulate, 1.5-2" long, tube inside ciliate, usually heavily marked with white, edged darker purple maculation, lobes 4, upper lip shorter than lower lip.

Fruit

Rounded fruit capsule which splits open at maturity to release the numerous small brown, ridged seeds., Capsule 14 x 8 mm., ovoid obtuse.

How to Grow

Water

Average, Mesic, Dry Mesic, Dry

Sunlight

Full Sun, Partial Sun, Full Sun to Partial Shade, Partial or Dappled Shade, Partial Shade to Full Shade, Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day), Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)

Benefits
Attracts

Birds

Butterflies

Hummingbirds

Bees

Pollinators

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