Digitalis, Common Foxglove, Lady's Glove 'Excelsior Group'

Digitalis purpurea

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




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink



Pale Yellow


Medium Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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).


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 gene... read more


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.


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.