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In Bloom

Digitalis purpureaFoxglove
 
Digitalis purpurea
Digitalis purpurea Digitalis purpurea Digitalis purpurea Digitalis purpurea
Digitalis purpurea Digitalis purpurea Digitalis purpurea
 

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The tall and stately rows of common Foxglove, a handsome plant once native to western Europe, have naturalized all over the world, even to New Zealand where they appear much at home and are considered a “noxious weed”. Their leaves contain digitalin, an ingredient vital in the treatment of cardiac patients, a discovery made in 1785 by an English physician, William Withering.

Digitalis purpurea, (digitus: latin for finger) is the most common of thirty species of Foxgloves, with finger shaped bells in lavender and other pastel colors, descending along one side of a stout stem that can reach as high as 8 feet. The bells are remarkably spotted inside to lure pollinators to their nectar.

The leaves are hairy, alternate, large at ground level and graduated in size up the stem. They vary in their efficacy for medicinal purposes depending on the season. After flowering, the main stem can be cut and side shoots will result in more blooms. Foxgloves thrive in shade and rich soil.

Profile
Scientific Name Digitalis purpurea
Family Scrophulariaceae
Plant Type Flowering, herbaceous
Environment Does very well in partial sun to full shade and prefers a nitrogen-rich sandy loam soil
Bloom May-July
Uses Shaded areas, mixed with wildflowers, flowers can be used in floral arrangements, but heed the warning below
More Info Digitalis are highly toxic and care should be taken when growing near children and pets
Doctors use digitalis to stengthen the heart and regulate its beat
Location

Digitalis purpurea can be found in the Entry Garden (Bed 5E), the Rhododendron Garden (Bed 72) and the Garden of Fragrance (Bed 11A)

Plant Sales at San Francisco Botanical Garden
 

IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Docents Joanne Taylor and Kathy McNeil
Profile Contributor: David Kruse-Pickler, Associate Curator

 
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Magnolia dawsoniana

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Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

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Magnolia laevifolia'Strybing Compact'

Magnolia laevifolia 'Strybing Compact'

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Aristolochia californica

Aristolochia californica

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Chlorogalum pomeridianum

Chlorogalum pomeridianum

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Arbutus menziesii

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Romneya coulteri

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Magnolia campbellii

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Magnolia denudata

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Magnolia x veitchii

Magnolia x veitchii

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Iris douglasiana

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Aesculus californica

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Vaccinium ovatum

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Sambucus racemosa

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Sequoia sempervirens

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Asarum caudatum

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Deppea splendens

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Montanoa spp.

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November

Bidens sp.

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December

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

February

Bomaria spp.

Bomarea spp.

March

Rhododendron occidentale

Rhododendron occidentale

April

Polystichum munitum

Polystichum munitum

May

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

June

Salvia leucantha

Salvia leucantha

July

Hydrangea seemannii

Hydrangea seemannii

August

Wollemia nobilis

Wollemia nobilis

September

Cyathea cooperi

Cyathea cooperi

October

Pinus radiata

Pinus radiata

November

Correa spp.

Correa spp.

December

Garrya elliptica

Garrya elliptica

January

Magnolia x soulangeana

Magnolia x soulangeana

February

Senecio glastifolius

Senecio glastifolius

March

Ribes spp.

Ribes spp.

April

Oxalis oregana

Oxalis oregana

May

Calandrinia grandiflora

Calandrinia grandiflora

June

Taxus baccata

Taxus baccata

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Passiflora parritae

Passiflora parritae

September

Malvaviscus arboreus

Malvaviscus arboreus

October

Monterey Cypress

Monterey Cypress

November

Aloe arborescens

Aloe arborescens

December

Aloe plicatilis

Aloe plicatilis

January

Banksia seminuda

Banksia seminuda

February

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Zantedeschia aethiopica

March

Magnolia laevifolia

Magnolia laevifolia

April

Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

May

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Toxicodendron diversilobum

June

Clarkia sp.

Clarkia sp.

July

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

August

Brugmansia

Brugmansia

September

Cedrus spp.

Cedrus spp.

October

Protea repens

Protea repens

November

Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis

December

Thujopsis dolabrata

Thujopsis dolabrata

January

Gordonia longicarpa

Gordonia longicarpa

February

Rojasianthe superba

Rojasianthe superba

March

Echium spp.

Echium spp.

April

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

May

Digitalis purpurea

Digitalis purpurea

June

Felicia amelloides

Felicia amelloides

July

Ceroxylon quindiuense

Ceroxylon quindiuense

August

Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna

September

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

October

Acer morrisonense

Acer morrisonense

November

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

December

Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis

January

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

February

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

March

Leptospermum Spp.

Leptospermum

April

Salvia gesneraeflora

Salvia gesneraeflora

May

Lavandula spp.

Lavandula spp.

June

Pelargonium

Pelargonium

July

Fuchsia paniculata

Fuchsia paniculata

August

Luma apiculata

Luma apiculata

September

Luculia

Luculia

October

Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo

November

Cycads

Cycad

December

Restionaceae

Restionaceae

January

Hellebores

Hellebores

February

Ceanothus

Ceanothus

March

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

April

Psoralea pinnata

Psoralea pinnata

May

Fremontodendron californicum

Fremontodendron californicum

June

Leucadendron argenteum

Leucadendron argenteum

July

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

August

Gunnera tinctoria

Gunnera tinctoria

September

Pellaea rotundifolia

Pellaea rotundifolia

October

Fuchsia boliviana

Fuchsia boliviana

November

Erica canaliculata

Erica canaliculata

December

Magnolia campbelli

Magnolia campbelli

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Camellia

Camellia

March

Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense

April

Acmena smithii

Acmena smithii

May

Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

June

Dendromecon harfordii

Dendromecon harfordii

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Eupatorium purpureum

Eupatorium purpureum

September

Epilobium canum sp.

Epilobium canum sp.

October

Grevillea spp.

Grevillea spp.

November

Drimys winteri

Drimys winteri

December

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