Now here is one cool-looking flower! Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) delivers a striking yet classic display of bell-shaped florets in a variety of bright colors and pastels. Hardy in zones 3-8, foxglove offers the best of both worlds by attracting butterflies and hummingbirds, while resisting most diseases and pests. All parts of the plant, and especially the leaves, are poisonous, making this a beauty that even gets passed over by deer and rabbits, two of the most hard-hitting garden marauders.
A fast grower, foxglove reaches 2-4’ tall and thrives in full sun to partial shade. Towering spikes sport tubular flowers, 1-3” long, in early to midsummer, depending on the cultivar. Often likened to bells or fingers (the name foxglove means fairy’s glove), flowers come in both pastel and bright shades of white, yellow, pink, purple, blue and red. Foxglove is a showstopper whether planted alone or as a backdrop for other traditional perennials – it’s particularly outstanding in early summer borders.
With large, oval-shaped basal leaves, the plant has a spread of 15-18”. Space 2-3’ apart and plant in fertile, well-drained soil. Foxglove is a biennial, although in the south it may be perennial). So don’t remove all the stalks after the flowers fade.