Digitalis Hybrid, Fairy's Glove, Merton's Foxglove, Strawberry Foxglove

Digitalis x mertonensis

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Digitalis (dig-ee-TAH-liss) (Info)
Species: x mertonensis (mer-ton-EN-sis) (Info)
Additional cultivar information:(Digitalis grandiflora x purpurea)
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:




24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:




Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

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


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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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 17, 2014, gardenergal17 from Canton--Football HOF, 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 t... read more


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.


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.


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.


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

Started blooming late winter and continued into summer. Beautiful.


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.


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.


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

Grows beautifully here in Auburn, AL.


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.


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.


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.


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.