Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Strawberry Foxglove, Merton's Foxglove
Digitalis x mertonensis

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Digitalis (dig-ee-TAH-liss) (Info)
Species: x mertonensis (mer-ton-EN-sis) (Info)

11 vendors have this plant for sale.

30 members have or want this plant for trade.

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24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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8 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral gardenergal17 On Aug 17, 2014, gardenergal17 from Canton (Football HOF City!), OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I planted my new Strawberry Foxglove in early Spring this year (2014), and although there was some trauma early on, it was given lots of (extra) TLC and (it recovered and) is quite healthy & growing lots of foliage! I waited and waited for that first sign of a flower stem peaking from the foliage, but after it became clear that it wont be blooming, in the Spring/Summer Season, Ive been watching for blooms ever since, thinking that its a "rebloomer, it could still send up a stem or two before September! Well, I conceded to Mother Nature and attributed the issue to the earlier trauma, and, as of this post, I have yet to witness my 'Strawberry' in bloom, which is the reason for my 'Neutral' rating. =/

But today, after reading the comments here, I noticed a clear pattern that our DG Pals, in warmer climates than mine, are getting blooms in the first season of planting their Strawberry Foxglove, but our DG Pals in colder climates, similar to mine, have commented that it took one (or more) season(s) before their blooms first appeared.

Keeping my fingers crossed that Spring 2015 will bring results! =D

Positive ms_greenjeans On Jun 16, 2011, ms_greenjeans from Hopkins, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I too am looking for a truly perennial foxglove. This is year 2, so I'm not certain this will be it yet. Last year the foliage grew and grew, but it did not bloom. This year it is just beginning to bloom -- all the flowers are not yet open. I like it very much and hope it really will return every year. The foliage seems to look nicer than other foxgloves I've had -- very lush and green. Update - it is continuing to progress in bloom from the bottom up. The flower stalks and flowers are large and robust. It is quite substantial overall and very lovely. The bees love it--there is a bee in just about every individual flower.

Positive audsrz On Apr 15, 2011, audsrz from Traverse City, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have had this cultivar "strawberry" and another "apricot" in my gardens for five years now. Having grown them from seed, I can say that unlike the purpura that blooms the second year and dies, mine have taken up to three years to reach a blooming maturity. As yet, the only mother plants I have lost was due to too much water. This cultivar does seem to prefer full sun, sandy soil, and little assistance from well intentioned gardeners. I just leave them alone with the salvias and lavander and they reward me with a show every year.

Positive whitesam9 On Feb 26, 2011, whitesam9 from Dayton, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I like this variety of Foxglove because it keeps producing new flower stalks all Summer long. I had flower stalks pretty much the whole time from mid-May through mid-September.

Positive vaalriver On Jun 20, 2009, vaalriver from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Started blooming late winter and continued into summer. Beautiful.

Positive Susan_C On Feb 8, 2009, Susan_C from Alameda, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Easy from seed and truly perennial in my garden. It blooms for a relatively long period, and the flowers are an unusual, pretty shade of rose. It is charming in a woodland cottage garden and adds a nice vertical element. In order to ensure that it blooms, I have found it needs to be fertilized when it starts putting on new growth in the spring.

Neutral IrisLover79 On Mar 5, 2007, IrisLover79 from Westchester, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Just a note, most foxgloves are biennial, which means they only live for 2 years. They get leaves the first year and flowers the second. I'm trying to find an actual, perennial foxglove... Spanish Peaks (Digitalis thapsi?) claims to be one. However, I *think* most that are described as perennial aren't really. They just say that because they self sow very readily.

I planted 3 of these years ago and only one made it to flower. I must have had it in too much shade (under a Blue Spruce), because it was short and sad looking, lol. Also, the flowers on mine were more of a peachy-rose color (not really a "crushed strawberry" color). The fact that it was fuzzy made it stand out from my other foxgloves, though.

Positive hymenocallis On Nov 27, 2006, hymenocallis from Auburn, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Grows beautifully here in Auburn, AL.

Neutral kkimba1 On Aug 29, 2005, kkimba1 from Hoboken, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

I bought four strawberry foxglove this spring for the back of my shade garden. While the foliage is beautiful, only one of the four plants bloomed.

Positive LilyLover_UT On Jan 17, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

Digitalis x mertonensis seems to be more drought tolerant than Digitalis purpurea, and it blooms a couple weeks later. My plants have done well for three years now, even though they're planted in sandy soil in full sun. Of course, they get regular watering. I love the soft strawberry color, which goes well with warm color schemes.

Neutral fussyone On Aug 2, 2004, fussyone from Dearborn Heights, MI wrote:

Several years ago I bought a foxglove which was beautiful but never came back. Not knowing a lot about this lovely flower, I tried Strawberry Foxglove this year as it was listed as a perennial. It has sun in the early morning and shade during the afternoon. The plant looks healthy and leafy but it is now August and it has no sign of flowers.

Positive Terry On Mar 7, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A tetraploid hybrid, biennial or short-lived perennial. Flowers are larger than those of either parent and are borne in terminal racemes atop leafy, 3-4' tall spires arising from the centers of basal rosettes. Pendulous, 2-3" long, tubular, funnel-shaped, coppery-rose flowers are closely grouped along each spike. Flowers are attractive to hummingbirds. Mertonensis tolerates full sun, but performs well with some shade.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Seward, Alaska
Little Rock, Arkansas
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Alameda, California
Calistoga, California
Richmond, California
San Leandro, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Parker, Colorado
Centerbrook, Connecticut
Stamford, Connecticut
Atlanta, Georgia
Decatur, Georgia
Westchester, Illinois
Farmersburg, Indiana
Junction City, Kansas
Ewing, Kentucky
Salvisa, Kentucky
Bordelonville, Louisiana
Parkton, Maryland
Norton, Massachusetts
Bellaire, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan
Hopkins, Minnesota
Lincoln, Nebraska
Swanzey, New Hampshire
Hoboken, New Jersey
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Ithaca, New York
High Point, North Carolina
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Canton, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Brookhaven, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Clover, South Carolina
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Garland, Texas
Houston, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Radford, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Eglon, West Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin
Oconto, Wisconsin

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