Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Rusty Foxglove
Digitalis ferruginea

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Digitalis (dig-ee-TAH-liss) (Info)
Species: ferruginea (fer-oo-GIN-ee-a) (Info)

Synonym:Digitalis aurea
Synonym:Digitalis brachyantha
Synonym:Digitalis ferruginea f. membranaceoviolacea
Synonym:Digitalis pichleri

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 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)
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:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
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)

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

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There are a total of 9 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Feb 12, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The soft flower color, a soft blend of apricot, burnt orange, and caramel, mixes tastefully with a wide range of other colors.

This biennial is easily grown here in eastern MA (Z6a) in full sun or partial shade. The easily transplanted evergreen rosettes are handsome their first season and all winter. The ramrod-straight flower scapes shoot up dramatically in the second or third season and contribute a welcome architectural presence to the border. After going to seed, plants die, but their dead flower stalks look good in the winter. Plants self-sow reliably here without becoming a weed.

Performance is best with more sun than needed by the common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea).

A single plant in isolation may seem a little odd. A grouping of 7 or more looks much better. Plants take up little space. Great mingled with loose lower growing perennials.

Positive Gabrielle On Apr 18, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Rusty Foxglove thrives in areas that other plants struggle. Mine is in the dry shade of a greedy Maple tree, and it is still full of blooms.

Stratification and light aid germination of seeds.

Positive FairBear On Mar 1, 2006, FairBear from Lansing, NY wrote:

This foxglove is lovely viewed up close -- a young friend gave it the nickname of "golden slippers." With regular deadheading side shoots flowered well into the fall.

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

The rusty foxglove may not be as showy as some of the digitalis species but it's still a worthy plant that deserves a spot in the garden. Its golden tubular flowers have reddish-brown veins inside giving them the "rusty" appearance. Bees and hummingbirds are frequent visitors. Plants tend to be short-lived perennials, lasting 2 to 3 years but self sown seedlings are abundant and will replace any that don't return.


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

Sacramento, California
Santa Clara, California
Parker, Colorado
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Lake Orion, Michigan
Tionesta, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Austin, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
North Bend, Washington

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