Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Foxglove
Digitalis purpurea 'Pam's Choice'

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Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Digitalis (dig-ee-TAH-liss) (Info)
Species: purpurea (pur-PUR-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Pam's Choice

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

21 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Category:
Biennials

Height:
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Spacing:
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:
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

Danger:
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Maroon (Purple-Brown)
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:
Evergreen
Herbaceous
Velvet/Fuzzy-Textured

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

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
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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Profile:

2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral Clary On Oct 4, 2010, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted several plugs of Pam's Choice and they grew well, flowered vigorously, and reseeded profusely. The original plants were creamy white with a maroon throat as expected.

I have no other foxgloves in my garden and there are no others in my immediate neighborhood that I am aware of, but the seedlings produce a flower with a pink bell, as my pictures show.

This is the only foxglove I've ever grown. Perhaps it's true of all foxgloves, but these reseed so prolifically that the seedlings are as dense as a groundcover. I thin them out many times during the growing season. The seeds sprout almost immediately during the late summer and grow into mature plants in the cool fall weather. The next year they produce flower stalks in the spring.

Main flower stalks have been 5-6 feet tall, with ancillary flower stalks reaching 3-4 feet. The bloom time is very long: 6-8 weeks.

I have since removed these from my garden because they are so prolific and the basal plant grows so large. Its leaves are large and mat down neighboring plants.

Positive grovespirit On Jun 25, 2010, grovespirit from Sunset Valley, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

A likely descendant of a giant foxglove cultivar 'Etter's Giants' created by a famous California plant breeder, Albert F. Etter. Etter bred the Gravenstein apple, and several other apples around the turn of the 20th. century.

Legend has it this particular form with white and maroon coloration was developed from an old California heirloom that is now quite hard to find. Its parent cultivar was called 'Etter's Giants'. Etter's Giants share ancestry with 'Giant Shirley' and also with the cottage heirloom strain called 'Giant Spotted' but are significantly taller than either of those so-called Giant strains- very possibly the world's tallest Foxglove! :)

'Etter's Giants' bloom in mixed colors- predominantly purple or magenta, with occasional intermediate colors like pink, mauve or lilac, rare bicolors like Pam's Choice, and a few pure whites. Regardless of coloration Etter's Giants are all remarkably tall - 6 to 8 feet- because height is what the heirloom cultivar was bred for. Thus the name. :)

It is said this rare bicolor heirloom was cherished and created by a beloved female relative of Etter's named Pam. Pam noticed this growing amongst Etter's Giants. This one is not nearly as tall as the Giants, so of course Etter tried to yank it-- for being too short. However, Pam pleaded for him not to do so because she wanted to keep growing it for its lovely coloration.

Etter agreed Pam could keep it, but only if she isolated the flowers to prevent cross-pollination of tall and short foxgloves by bagging the blossoms on this short bicolor. Pam did so, and also planted the resulting seeds in a separate location in later seasons. Pam stabilized this variety over several generations, with Etter's expert help.
This is how it got the name 'Pam's Choice'.

Note: This will only breed true to parent form if you isolate it from cross-pollination with other Foxgloves.
If you don't isolate this, you can get some plants that revert back to the 'Etter's Giants' extra tall form- or other random forms and colors that resemble whichever local foxgloves pollinated yours.

Also, if growing a field full of the heirloom strain 'Etter's Giants', one that looks like 'Pam's Choice' may well pop up once in a blue moon! :)

Positive laura10801 On Jun 28, 2008, laura10801 from Fairfield County, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:

Gorgeous and unique looking, this foxglove is tall, mine was well over 4 feet. I cut the tallest spire and now I have 2 shoots blooming. I think it will produce even more when I cut those shoots. It lasts for a long time in the vase.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 21, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Cut the flowering spike to the base as it finishes and several smaller spikes will appear, extending the bloom time. Leave new fall growth at the base of the plant to overwinter.

Tall 3-4' - Plant 18" apart. zone 5-9 White flowers deeply spotted and blotched with dark maroon. Not as tall as some of the others.

Regional...

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

Richmond, California
Sand City, California
Cos Cob, Connecticut
Ottumwa, Iowa
South China, Maine
Flat Rock, Michigan
Brices Creek, North Carolina
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Hilliard, Ohio
Norman, Oklahoma
Portland, Oregon
Albion, Pennsylvania
Havertown, Pennsylvania
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Great Falls, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Great Cacapon, West Virginia



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