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



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

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

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


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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Gardeners' Notes:


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. Unlike common foxglove (D. purpurea), flowers are distributed evenly around the stalk. 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.

A ... read more


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.


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.


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.