Name: Digitalis purpurea aka foxglove
Type of Plant: A biennial, which means that the plant grows from a seed one year, blooms the next (and makes more seeds), and then it dies.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: June gardens are magnificent when the foxgloves, peonies, lady’s mantle and catmint are all in flower. These are not only a “Wow!” combination in the garden, but are also lovely as cut flowers in large arrangements.
I love the fact that these plants are super-easy to grow from seed. The seeds are very tiny, but almost every one germinates! Plant seeds in June and then plant them in the garden in late-July for a spectacular display next year.
It pleases me that these biennials wander around my yard and garden. They pop up in random places and all I have to do is learn to recognize the seedlings so that I don’t pull them out when I weed. I also love how the flowers have spots that mark the way into the flower for the bees…the markings are like lights on an airport runway, signaling the way in.
A Word to the Wise: If you love foxglove, know that although you can move some of the seedlings around in early summer, for the most part you’ll need to let these grow and flower where they choose to do so. This isn’t a plant for control freaks!
Know too that all parts of this plant are poisonous. If you have pets or children that are prone to grazing on flowers, you’ll want to avoid this one.