Foxglove Digitalis purpurea

"The foxglove bells, with lolling tongue,Will not reveal what peals were rungin Faery..."

- Mary Webb, "Foxgloves"


This well known and easily recognisable wildflower has tall spikes which can bear up to eighty bell-shaped blooms.

These are usually pink but white variants are also occasionally seen. This plant is poisonous, so treat with caution. 

Where it grows

Woodland clearings, heaths and banks.

Best time to see

June to September.

Cultural info

  • County Flower of the Argyll, the West Midlands, Leicestershire and Monmouthshire / Sir Fynwy.
  • In the Language of Flowers it is said to stand for insincerity.

How's it doing?

Stable. Often occurs as a garden escapee.

3 things you may not know

  • The mottled markings on foxglove flowers were once thought to be the handprints of fairies.
  • In fact, in Gaelic, it was called lus nam ban-sith - 'the fairy woman's plant'.
  • A single foxglove can produce over a million seeds.

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