DIGITALIS purpurea

Foxglove, Witches' Thimbles



Height: 3-6' (1-2m)
Flowering Time: Summer
Flower Colour: Pink, white, cream, yellow, apricot

Botanical Classification:


Angiospermae (Angiosperms)
Subclass: Dicotyledonae (Dicotyledons)
Superorder: Asteridae (Daisy Superorder)
Order: Scrophulariales (Figwort Order)
Family: Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
(under the APGIII system, this plant is now in the
Plantaginaceae Family)
Genus: Digitalis (Foxglove)
Species: purpurea (purple)
Digitalis purpurea

Digitalis purpurea is a wildflower that has become a garden basic. It grows in sunny and shady positions, on the edges of woods and roads, and beside streams. It is usually a biennial, forming a rosette of large, coarse leaves in its first year, and throwing up tall spikes with large tubular flowers in its second summer. In the wild, these are almost always pink, with darker spots in the throat, but cultivated varieties are available in almost every shade of pink, through apricot and yellow, to white, with and without spotting.

Digitalis purpurea contains chemicals which affect the heart and kidneys. It has been used to treat heart problems since 1785, and in homeopathy for insomnia and depression.



Harvesting and Growing from Seed:


Any time of year
Any method
(4-20 days)

Seed Pod Each individual flower on the spike has its own seed pod. The seedpod is pointed,
inside the spiky calyx, and light brown and papery when the seeds are ripe.

Seed The seeds are tiny light brown balls. There are many seeds in a seedpod.

Seedling The seedling has large, slightly fuzzy spoon-shaped leaves.

(You can check the meaning of any technical terms new to you in the Botany section of the site)

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