Digitalis Purpurea. A favorite in the flower border, foxglove was brought to Mount Vernon in 1787 as a gift with medicinal properties for the Washingtons. Today, extracts from a relative, Digitalis lanata, are used to make prescription drugs to treat heart conditions and other ailments.
Foxglove is a biennial producing a basal rosette of light gray-green leaves the first year. During the second year, tall flower spikes grow from the base of the plant, reaching heights of 2-4’. These dramatic flowers will fill the garden in May and June, creating a stunning display in shades of pink, lavender, and white, especially when planted en masse. Plants perform best in sun to part-sun and in moist, not wet soil. Foxglove will set seed and self-sow in the garden producing plants for future enjoyment.
Sow seeds indoors 10-12 weeks before the last average frost date or sow directly into the garden in late spring or early fall. Press seeds lightly into soil and do not cover seeds they need light to germinate. Keep seeds moist, not wet, at 70 degrees. Germination will occur in approximately 2-4 weeks. Deer and rabbit resistant.
USDA Zones 4-8.
Heirloom seeds are collected, cleaned and packaged by hand at Mount Vernon.