Foxglove plants are classified as biennial: leaves form a rosette close to the ground the first year, succeeded by a spike with blooms the second, and final year. But under favorable growing conditions they often last longer, blooming another year or two beyond what their "biennial" status would warrant. In this case,they may be considered herbaceous perennials. Further complicating any positive life-cycle identification for the novice is the fact that foxglove plants often reseed themselves.
Foxglove plants are tall, slender perennials at 2-5' in height and just 1-2' wide. Numerous tubular flowers bloom on a spike, ranging in color from purple to white (the latter can be used in moon gardens). Foxglove flowers appear in the summer months.
Sun and Soil Requirements for Foxglove Flowers:
Uses for Foxglove Flowers in Landscape Design:
Care for Foxglove Plants:
Caveat for Growing Foxglove Plants:
More on Foxglove Plants: Name Origin, Medicinal Use:
According to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension, "The name foxglove is from the old English name "foxes glofa." It comes from an old myth that foxes must have used the flowers to magically sheath their paws as they stealthily made their nocturnal raids into the poultry yards of rural folk. The association is natural for the foxgloves grew on the wooded hillside slopes that foxes chose for their dens."
The scientific genus name also refers to the fact that foxglove flowers are just about the right size for you to slip your fingers into them, as the Latin, digitalis literally translates, "measuring a finger's breadth."
As with many poisonous plants, foxglove was traditionally used by expert herbalists for medicinal purposes. Even today, drugs made from foxglove plants are used to strengthen the heart and regulate heartbeat.
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