Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Foxglove, Common Foxglove, Purple Foxglove, Lady's Glove
Digitalis purpurea 'Excelsior Group'

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Digitalis (dig-ee-TAH-liss) (Info)
Species: purpurea (pur-PUR-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Excelsior Group

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
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:
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

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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3 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive SFJim On Jan 19, 2009, SFJim from San Francisco, CA wrote:

Noe Valley, San Francisco. You hear a lot about the San Francisco bay area micro-climates. I live in one. In this curiously cool, mediterranean climate Digitalis purpurea grows splendidly. I've had clumps naturalized in my large city garden since '91. The plants here this past summer are the descendents of at least a dozen odd six packs of garden center Digitalis. The plants pictured have an extraordinary characteristic. I believe they were tetraploids, twice the normal genes.

Positive hallowsend On Jun 27, 2005, hallowsend from Rawdon, QC (Zone 4a) wrote:

I grew these easily from seed last year. Today (June 27, 2005), they are in full bloom in Rawdon, Quebec Zone 4. They seem to grow taller (36 in) in sunnier location, but are doing well even in partial sun (24 in).

Positive lmelling On Nov 14, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

I purchased one Excelsior foxglove along with several other types including Foxy and a few unnamed varieties when I started my back garden. Every year I have perhaps 75 -100 foxglove that come up in my garden, which are reseeds from the previous year. I'm not sure which cultivars are which any longer, but every once in a while I will get a huge, tremendous foxglove with pendulous bells on it. I believe these are strains of the Excelsior that I first planted way back in 1997. I always let these go to seed and sprinkle them over the garden in back. I might only get a couple per year that are as gorgeous as noted, but even the less showy ones are beautiful. A wonderful sight in June, and again in August!

Note: if you cut the stalk down before it goes to seed, it will generally rebloom and you can reseed from the second showing. The foxglove "babies" that spring up are easily transplanted to the location you want them to bloom. I've had them take root in no more than mulch - even if I forgot to dig them in.

Negative PurplePansies On Jul 9, 2003, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Not as easy to grow as reported....I grew in the Mid-Atlantic and although seeds germinated quickly and completely, only one plant survived to flower....I think most rotted...intolerant of wet, and or winter/wet soil.

Neutral Baa On Aug 28, 2002, Baa wrote:

Biennial hybrids for the back of the border.

Has tall spikes of tubular flowers in a range of pastel shades with spotted throats. Unlike the species the flowers face outwards and are arranged all around the stem.

Loves moist but well-drained soil in sun or light shade. They tolerate a wide range of soil conditions and garden situations except very wet, very dry or too much heat. In hotter regions grow in partial shade and keep watered well.

Seedlings will not come true from garden collected seeds.


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

Juneau, Alaska
Seward, Alaska
Calistoga, California
Chowchilla, California
Hayward, California
Sacramento, California
San Francisco, California
Walnut Creek, California
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Westbrook, Connecticut
Chicago, Illinois
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Amesbury, Massachusetts
Assonet, Massachusetts
Saginaw, Michigan
Nashua, New Hampshire
Wentworth, New Hampshire
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
Alden, New York
Ithaca, New York
New York City, New York
Gallipolis, Ohio
Toledo, Ohio
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Allentown, Pennsylvania
, Quebec
Sugar Land, Texas
Clinton, Washington
Redmond, Washington
Sumner, Washington
Lake Delton, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

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