Photo by Melody

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

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

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

60 members have or want this plant for trade.

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

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:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


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:

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:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 65 photos.
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9 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive hermero On Aug 3, 2013, hermero from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

When we first moved into this house, (zone 8, NW) there were purple foxglove growing on the east side in mostly shade. Over the years, they have moved around the yard with no assistance. Now we have both purple and white plants in various places, some in full sun. I don't fertilize and only incidentally water if they happen to be near other less invincible plants.
Here is a website that may help explain why flowers change colors, and in the case of the strange shape, mutate to create sports.

Positive devinskelton On Jun 15, 2013, devinskelton from BEACON FALLS, CT wrote:

I have had these foxgloves for three years now. Last year I spread many seeds around and relocated many of the strays that started showing up late in the fall last year where I didn't want them. Of these transplanted plants, three of them gave me very uncharacteristic top flowers this year. I've posted two images of these. The flowers weren't particularly uniform. It did look like an anomaly but could anyone explain why it happened - and to three different plants the same year? I haven't seen anyone else here post images of this anomaly but I have found others online.

Positive BeTu On Aug 13, 2012, BeTu from Burlington , ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

August 2012.
This is the first year that we are growing this plant. To our surprise it bloomed already! In fact, it continues to show additional stalks with gorgeous blooms continually. It being bienual, we hope that selfseeding will prolong our enjoyment of this beautiful specimen for years to come. incidentaly, we live in South Ontario, Canada.

Positive maccionoadha On Nov 17, 2008, maccionoadha from Halifax, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

It is also known as Dead Man's Thimbles. Pieces of the leaf can be added to vases of cut flowers to prolong their life.

Positive awasner On Jul 7, 2008, awasner from Otter Rock, OR wrote:

I love this invasive plant, it's beautiful and is enjoyed by a lot of our native wildlife. It's important to note that it deadly poisonous. Children drinking water from a vase with this plant have died. As little as 0.5 gram of a dried plant can kill a healthy adult. Care needs to be taken with the seeds. The dried plant pods can sort of explode in your face causing severe health problems for some people.

Neutral Gabrielle On Mar 29, 2007, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Stratification aids germination of seeds.

Positive ramito On Jul 31, 2005, ramito from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Just added this to my plot some weeks ago & it has already produced 3-4 stalks full of blooms. The only downside is that the stalks themselves are not strong enough to support the blooms, so they are so bent over they touch the ground. No worries there as they make a nice cut flower to bring indoors, and there are always more coming! FYI the area gets watered by sprinkler 3-4 nights a week. Hope so see more self-seeded!

Neutral GreenLife On Apr 25, 2005, GreenLife from (Zone 10b) wrote:

I was pleasantly surprised to see this plant growing in my area which is within zone 10. I bought this plant when it was already in bloom and it continues to flower now (a good two months later) albeit with much smaller blooms. Hummingbirds are also fond of this plant. Nevertheless, I rate it as neutral because it requires a LOT of water.

Neutral handbright On Feb 20, 2005, handbright from Coral Springs, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Wont grow here in zone 10b. A word of warning though, this plant is listed in the materia medica as being medicinal and poisonous. Even one or two leaves ingested will slow the heart. If an animal or a child chews on this plant it can cause death! Fortunatly it tastes very bitter and causes irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth, actually causing pain and swelling. It also causes diarrehoea, nausea and vomiting, so if it does get in, it soon comes out! Because of these factors, it is not really a problem for wildlife, human or otherwise! However if you ever find a child who has been around this plant with symptoms of oral irritation, grab a stem or two and get to the emergancy room!

Positive lmelling On Oct 27, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Wonderful perennial! I started with about 10 of these back in 1997, and I couldn't begin to count how many I have now. Most bloom in late June / July here, but I've found that if you cut the first stem after it's done blooming, it will rebloom.

If you would like to increase your number substantially, wait until the stalk has gone completely brown - this can be hard because they can become an eyesore as they age. I usually save this for my most beautiful blossoms only and cut the rest back (as above) to get a second bloom. Once the stem and seed pods have gone brown, carefully cut the stem and shake it over the area you would like to have more growing in. By the end of the season you will see dozens of new plants starting for next year!

I have found the baby foxglove to be easy to transplant - some even grow in nothing more than a little mulch! To move, simply use a gardening fork or digging tool and carefully go under the plant about 3" and "scoop" it up. Try to get as many roots as you can. Place it in loosened moist garden soil and tamp down - it will do the rest! I've moved them all over our property in this way. We have a very moist location and they take root quickly and do beautifully in their new locations!

One note - you need to plant these in moist situations if you want them to come back. I have a friend that I give usually a dozen to each spring - she has had no luck having them reseed (although they bloom quite well). I believe the problem is that she uses raised beds, which tend to be on the well drained side - where my garden is moist, but well drained (slope). Even those growing only in mulch along my front walkway are shaded from sun and the area stays more on the moist side. So if you have a really dry situation, you may not have as good a luck.

Positive NatureWalker On Jun 29, 2004, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

JobyKay: if there was one nearby last year; you might have at least 30 to 50 of them this year; quite possibly even over 100 of them! Don't start plucking them up just yet; let them grow up because they are so beautiful. If you can recognize them in their younger stages try to dig them up and replant them where you want them, in an enclosed area. One healthy stalk(ful) can produce a large quantity of seeds and off-spring!
Then when all the flowers are faded, and all of the seed pods are still on the stalks, you can cut and remove the stalks. Make sure you bring a good pair of shears and a large 'Paper' grocery or shopping bag with you. You need not wait for them to 'dry up' first; that could let them easily re-seed fast if your not paying close attention and have other things to do. Make sure you place them in the paper bag upside down (topside in first) so no seeds can escape. These pods will dry up and crack open very fast releasing very many 'large dust like' seeds; you can use these seeds to give away to people who would like some, or 'trade' with for other seeds - 'a good idea;' and you can even save some for next year to plant where 'you' want them to grow. This method will help you to control 'the popping up from eveywhere.'
But be assured, you probably will still find _loose_ ones around for a while some times many years afterwards.
You may not be able to corral them this year. So try to fence them in this year. I've never seen a deer, squirrel, or raccoon die from them, although they didn't stay on the property to long (the dog barking.) But I think the pods and seeds eaten in a great quantity, would make any creature ill. Animals can eat things that humans cannot, and some animals don't know when to stop eating.
I actually go out each day and remove the pods (dead head) when I see the flowers fall off, just to keep them from going where they shouldn't. This does not hurt the plant nor the pods. As you can see the pods and the way they are on the picture that I posted. (I'll take a day or 2.) I had let those ones stay on the plant and removed pods that were lower on that stalk. I removed the ones in the picture after I took the photo, and the plant is still alive. Pinch the pods off with your fingernails or use a small scissor; clip it off right behind the pod and leave the 'little tail' that goes back to the plant on. If you have the patience, clip the 'little tail' at mid-point.

HTH - if not email me through my member-profile page. RIM
Zone: 5a, Deposit, NYState

Neutral JobyKay On Jun 25, 2004, JobyKay from Groveton, NH (Zone 4a) wrote:

I did not plant these, but they have started coming up everywhere this year. I like them, but I am worried about the deer & moose. I live where they are thick. I am still finding the plants everywhere. It is the end of June in NH & they are still blooming. They are beautiful!

Positive rylaff On Jun 1, 2004, rylaff from Niceville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

this plant has come back for me every year. In fact, if the winter is not too harsh, it does not even die down all the way. It has been blooming consistently for me for over two months now.

Neutral poppysue On Aug 8, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

The common foxglove is a beauty to add to any garden and many hybrids are now on the market to suit anyone's taste. Plants form rosettes of hairy lance shaped leaves in their first growing season. The second year it will send up large spikes with drooping bell shaped blooms that are sometimes spotted inside. Shades of purple are the most common but pink, white, and yellow are also available.


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

Alameda, California
Clovis, California
Crescent City, California
Fallbrook, California
San Leandro, California
Shingletown, California
Whittier, California
Woodland, California
Pueblo, Colorado
Beacon Falls, Connecticut
Glastonbury, Connecticut
Bradley, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Niceville, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Lula, Georgia
Petersburg, Indiana
Iowa City, Iowa
Lansing, Kansas
Calvert City, Kentucky
Brookeville, Maryland
Frederick, Maryland
Halifax, Massachusetts
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Tyngsboro, Massachusetts
Detroit, Michigan
Dexter, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Mason, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Florence, Mississippi
Auburn, New Hampshire
Denville, New Jersey
Jamesburg, New Jersey
Medford, New Jersey
Metuchen, New Jersey
Vincentown, New Jersey
Chester, New York
Croton On Hudson, New York
Crown Point, New York
Deposit, New York
Granville, New York
Ithaca, New York
Jefferson, New York
Rochester, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Sneads Ferry, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Glouster, Ohio
Albany, Oregon
Ashland, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Molalla, Oregon
Otter Rock, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Tillamook, Oregon
Crucible, Pennsylvania
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania
Valencia, Pennsylvania
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Arlington, Tennessee
Christiana, Tennessee
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Mount Juliet, Tennessee
Thompsons Station, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Kaysville, Utah
Ogden, Utah
Chester, Vermont
Chantilly, Virginia
Herndon, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Bothell, Washington
Clinton, Washington
Edmonds, Washington
Grand Mound, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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