Providing striking colour and architectural height to borders, Digitalis purpurea, commonly known as Common Foxglove, was an obvious choice to us when designing the garden beds at our Camberwell 3 project.
One of the most familiar of wild flowers and certainly the most distinctive, the Foxglove is an eye-catching biennial or short lived perennial. It forms tall spires, rising from a basal rosette of deep green oval leaves of 5cm long funnel shaped flowers. They come in shades of white, rose, pink to purple with purple and white speckled throats.
Digitalin, which is extracted from it, is a powerful poison and an important drug in the treatment of heart complaints.
Attractive to both bees which hover near the tubular blossoms and to birds which flock to the seed heads in Autumn, this plant naturalizes well as it self-sows profusely and creates lovely colonies in the landscape. A profuse bloomer, it will bring its gorgeous blooms in late spring to mid-summer. It grows up to 60-150cm high and spreads to 45-60cm.
Foxgloves perform best in full sun to part shade, in average, medium moisture and well drained soils. Rich, moist, acidic soils in part shade are preferred and it’s important to not let the soil dry out.
Easy to grow, the Foxglove was a welcomed addition to the garden beds at our Camberwell 3 project – we maximised their visual effect in our garden design by planting them in groups of three to four.