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 Digitalis purpurea

Other Names:  Fairy Bells

Distribution:  A native British wild flower, which is fairly common throughout Britain.

Habitat:  It grows in woods, on heaths, banks, rocks and on acid soils.

Description:  Biennial.  Tall, straight flower spikes in the second year from May to September.  The clusters of large, bell-shaped, pink/purple flowers hang at the top of the stem - all on the same side of the stem. 

Uses:  The foxglove is very poisonous, but is the source of the drug digitalis.  Digitalis is used in very small doses for the treatment of some heart conditions.

Wildlife:  This is the food plant of the Frosted Orange, the Heath Fritillary, the Lesser Yellow Underwing and the Foxglove Pug Moth.


Sowing Instructions for Seeds:  Sow seed in late spring to early summer in a cold frame. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and plant them out in late summer for flowering the following year (biennial).


Our plants and seeds are of native British origin.