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Foxglove: A Romance

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Foxgloves in Your Garden / The Foxglove Makes Medical History / Foxgloves in Folklore

Foxgloves in Your Garden

With their spikes of distinctive, freckle-throated bells, foxgloves are a cottage garden favorite, providing a graceful, stately accent in a garden of part-sun and shade. They are at home in the woodland or native garden, in rock gardens and in formal borders.

Foxglove blooms during early summer in various shades of shell pink, rose, cream and white, with contrasting freckles. They are natives of Europe, Western Asia and Northern Africa.

The name foxglove may be derived from the old English phrase "foxes glofa." It comes from an old myth that foxes used the flowers to sheath their paws as they raided the poultry yards of rural folk. The scientific genus name refers to the fact that foxglove flowers fit on the tips of fingers. Digitalis means "a finger's breadth."

The Foxglove Makes Medical History

To read more about Dr. William Withering's discovery and subsequent experiments with this valuable medicinal herb, explore these links.

Foxgloves in Folklore

Do remember—this plant can be fatal if eaten. Grow it with respect for its power to heal, and to hurt.