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Wild Foxglove

June 1st, 2009

When we moved in here we had this wild foxglove that blooms along the edges of the woods. It’s truly lovely, I really love the greenish yellow color.
One of the things I really love about this plant is that it’s much hardier in our climate than most other foxgloves. I have grown foxglove from seed several times and they always live for a few years and then they die off during one of our really cold winters. This foxglove spreads every year no matter what kind of winter we have. It’s also much shorter than regular foxgloves, only growing about 24 inches tall.
I keep wanting to save some seeds from it and try to start more of them to plant around the shady woodland edges. The problem is that I always forget to mark the plant and then I can’t find it when it goes to seed. Perhaps this will be the year I will finally remember. If it get some I’ll be happy to share seeds with anyone that’s interested.

What kinds of native wildflowers do you like? Have you ever had success propagating wild plants?

10 Comments to “Wild Foxglove”
  1. Helen at Toronto Gardens on June 1, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Hi, Chiot’s Run, This is Digitalis grandiflora, and although it is naturalized, it isn’t a native. Here’s a link to some pretty good info on it:

    And also another with images:

    I’ve grown this in my USDA Zone 5 garden, and it’s a lovely plant — though tends to prefer to grow where it seeds itself, not necessarily where you want it to grow. Another perennial foxglove that has worked for me is Digitalis lutea, with tiny buttercream-coloured bells.

    Helen at Toronto Gardens’s last blog post.. Help! Valley-strangling vine!

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    • Susy on June 1, 2009 at 8:41 am

      Thanks for the info!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Kim on June 1, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I’d love some seeds – I don’t have much luck with the other Foxgloves either. I would be happy to share some of my seeds with you. I haven’t collected any in the woods around here, but maybe there is something in my garden you’d like. I could even try sending plants.

    Kim’s last blog post.. Shenanigans

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  3. Renee on June 1, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Very pretty. I don’t have any around here because of the children. Everything on the plant is poisonous – even after it’s completely dried out. The pollen is poisonous, as well.

    Around here it grows as a weed. They grow in great numbers on the side of the freeway and in untended fields. They sure are pretty to look at though. I wish they were a safer plant.

    Renee’s last blog post.. Good Night Bumble Bee, Sleep Tight

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  4. Dan on June 1, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I to have problems with foxgloves staying in the garden. I think the problem is that they are biennial and the ones I have planted do not self seed well. Your yellow one is lovely and is great that it sticks around for you. I will have to look for seed for it.

    Dan’s last blog post.. Tomato Planting

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  5. Daphne on June 1, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I so love foxglove. I would love to find a perennial one. Last year I planted five in my garden. Only one survived the winter. It is sending up a flower stalk, but it is lonely. I think a perennial plant would be so much easier than the biennial ones.

    Daphne’s last blog post.. Garden Blogger’s Death Day

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    • Helen at Toronto Gardens on June 2, 2009 at 7:43 am

      Daphne, the D. grandiflora and D. lutea I mentioned above are both perennial foxgloves. So is the very pretty pink version D. mertonensis, sometimes called the strawberry foxglove. This last one tends to be fussier and the dead hardy yellowish ones, but it’s worth it if you can get it going. All the perennial forms tend to be less showy than the biennials; that’s the trade-off.

      Helen at Toronto Gardens’s last blog post.. The Don Valley Brickworks: Wild At Heart – "Country" in the City

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  6. art massey on July 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    We live in the pacific northwest and have an abundance of the truly wild foxglove. Most are the violet color but a few are white. My question is if we collect seed from some wild white foxglove will they produce a white foxglove? I was thinking that the white is a regressive gene or something. Would appreciate your answer. Here the wild ones can be found up 8 feet tall. We have several in our yard that are over 6 feet tall. Lovely plant. Thank you!

    Reply to art massey's comment

    • Susy on July 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      If you can find a stand of all white with no purple around you would most like get all white blooms. If there are purple around they most likely will have cross pollinated with the purple. It’s worth a shot. If I collect seeds from this yellow foxglove it always flowers this same way, never purple. I too have purple and white growing in the back of the garden and they reseed freely and come up a mix of both purple and white.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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