Digitalis, commonly known as Foxglove comprises of about 20 species of perennials and biennials flowering shrubs that bear bell-like flowers of white, pink, red, lavender, purple, and yellow colors. It is an easily grown plant that can be tall up to 2 meters from the ground and in full bloom covered with small flowers containing brown spots inside to attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Digitalis belongs to the family of Plantaginaceae which is native to Europe.
The best know species of Foxgolve is Digitalis Purpurea which is commercially available as Common Foxgolve. Foxglove plants bloom in the spring season in the 2nd year of their growth. It requires the maximum soil temperature of 60-65F for germination and takes 20-30 days for its germination process. The leaves of Digitalis Purpurea are round in shape having a length of 10-35 cm and breadth of 5-12. They are normally covered with gray-white adolescent hairs. During first year the plant forms a tight twist at ground level.
Digitalis plants are beautiful but they are also one of the most poisonous herbs of the world. Digitalis contains the cardiac glycoside digitoxin in its leaves, flowers and seeds. So it could be so harmful if eaten both by animals and humans. But medically Foxglove is a source of digitalis prescribed by doctors, which is used to empower and regularize the heart beat.
Apart from being extremely poisonous due to its lovely shape it has been naturalized in various parts of North America and other parts of the world. In colder parts of the world it requires more sun, but in hot areas, they can be planted in medium to full shade with amazing results.