Digitalis Species, Fairy's Glove, Foxglove, Lady's Glove, Purple Foxglove

Digitalis purpurea

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Digitalis (dig-ee-TAH-liss) (Info)
Species: purpurea (pur-PUR-ee-uh) (Info)
View this plant in a garden



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)


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:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Lincoln, (258 reports)

Adana, Adana(2 reports)

Alameda, California

Clovis, California

Crescent City, California

Fallbrook, California(5 reports)

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

Feeding Hills, Massachusetts

Halifax, Massachusetts

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Tyngsboro, Massachusetts

Detroit, Michigan

Dexter, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Mason, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Florence, Mississippi

Madison, 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

Millersburg, Oregon

Molalla, 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

Onalaska, Texas

Kaysville, Utah

Ogden, Utah

Chester, Vermont

Chantilly, Virginia

Herndon, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Blakely Island, Washington

Bothell, Washington

Clinton, Washington

Edmonds, Washington

Grand Mound, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Rochester, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Stratification aids germination of seeds.


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!


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.


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!


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 ba... read more


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.... read more


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!


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.


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.