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Sunday, 15 June 2008
Foxgloves

image

I took this photograph on the Greensand Way yesterday, while on a walk with visiting family from Australia. (We only did a short stretch near Toy’s Hill).

According to the BBC gardening website:

Foxgloves quickly form colourful clumps to liven up areas of light shade, attracting masses of bees. The common name has nothing to do with foxes. It’s a corruption of the phrase ‘folks’ gloves’ - fairy folk were said to use flowers as gloves. The Latin, digitalis, refers to the flowers’ finger- or digit-like shape.

Besides buying or sowing the seed of a particular kind of foxglove, also buy a packet of mixed seed, to give all kinds of colours. But note that most foxgloves are biennials, which means you sow the seed one year; they flower, die and scatter seed the next. Also be aware that all parts of the plant are highly toxic if eaten, but handling them isn’t a problem.

Digitalis purpurea: the only British native is the biggest and best, capable of reaching 1.8m (6ft) high. It has soft, felt-like leaves and a strong stem that can carry hundreds of tubular flowers. The buds are white; the flowers a rich, rosy purple with lovely speckles and clusters of short hairs in the throat. A biennial or short-lived perennial, it’s best grown annually.

See Foxglove, Digitalis.

Posted by bigblue on 15/06/2008 at 09:51 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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