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A picture of a Foxglove


Digitalis purpurea

Also known as

Common Foxglove, Bloody Bells, Bloody Finger, Cow Flop, Dead Man's Bells, Dog's Lugs, Dragon's Mouth, Fairy Bells, Fairy Fingers, Fairy Gloves, Fairy Thimbles, Fairy's Cap, Fairy's Petticoat, Finger Flower, Flap Dock, Folk's Gloves, Fox Finger, Gloves Of Mary, Lady's Fingers, Lady's Gloves, Lady's Thimble, Lion's Mouth, Lusmore, Pop Dock, Thimble Finger, Thimble Flower, Throat Root, Witches' Bells, Witches' Fingers, Witches' Gloves, Witches' Thimbles, Digitalis, Purple Foxglove, Dead mens bells

Photo by Berengena (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Foxglove

A photo of Foxglove
A photo of Foxglove
A photo of Foxglove
A photo of Foxglove
A photo of Foxglove

Foxglove Overview

Digitalis purpurea is a herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial which produces tall spires of purple-pink bell-shaped flowers with purple spots inside the throat. It is a very attractive plant to insects, particularly bees. Commonly known as Foxgloves, Common Foxglove and Bloody Bells, amongst others, it provides incredible height and colour in most garden situations and also grows happily in wild woodland, thanks to its willingness to grow in shade or sun alike. In mild climates, the foliage is evergreen and will form large, lush clumps. This plant is often found in the wild in Northern Europe. These plants will self-seed up to two months before the frost; the blooms will follow in the spring and summer.

Common problems with Foxglove

Can suffer from leaf & bud eelworms.

Foxglove Companion Plants

Woodland plants such as Japanese maple, hydrangea, columbines and ferns make good companions.

How to harvest Foxglove

Flower spikes can be cut just as the 1st flowers start to open. Soak the stem in cold water overnight, having cut diagonally across the stem. Harvest seeds from seed head after flowering (will also self-seed).

How to propagate Foxglove


Allowing the plant to stand after flowering will provide many seeds to be sown straight after. Seeds can be sown in situ.

Special features of Foxglove

Attracts useful insects

Bees absolutely love the foxgloves and will happily bumble up and down the stem visiting the flowers.

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Attracts butterflies

Other uses of Foxglove

Under shrubs, borders. Leaves are poisonous if eaten. This plant suits being included in planting schemes for exposed or sheltered locations with south, east or west-facing aspects.


To be used only by medical practitioners for treating heart diseases.


Perfect for adding architectural spikes of interest in your large flower beds or borders.

Garden Biennials

A biennial plant takes two years to complete it's flowering cycle but worth the wait.

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Hedgerow and Verges Mixed

Hardy annuals and perennials that can be seed sown for colour.

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