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Uses

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant are highly poisonous[1][2][3][4][5][6].

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Digitalis purpurea.

Material uses

An infusion of the plant prolongs the life of cut flowers[7]. Root crops growing near this plant store better[7]. An apple-green dye is obtained from the flowers[8].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The foxglove is a widely used herbal medicine with a recognised stimulatory effect upon the heart. It is also used in allopathic medicine in the treatment of heart complaints. It has a profound tonic effect upon a diseased heart, enabling the heart to beat more slowly, powerfully and regularly without requiring more oxygen[9]. At the same time it stimulates the flow of urine which lowers the volume of the blood and lessens the load on the heart[9]. The plant contains cardiac glycosides (including digoxin, digitoxin and lanatosides). Digitoxin rapidly strengthens the heartbeat but is excreted very slowly. Digoxin is therefore preferred as a long-term medication[9].

The leaves are cardiac, diuretic, stimulant and tonic[10][1][11][12][13]. The leaves should only be harvested from plants in their second year of growth, picked when the flowering spike has grown and about two thirds of the flowers have opened[10]. Harvested at other times, there is less of the medically active alkaloid present[10]. The seed has also been used in the past[10]. The leaves also have a very beneficial effect on the kidneys, they are strongly diuretic and are used with benefit in the treatment of dropsy[10]. Great care should be exercised in the use of this plant, the therapeutic dose is very close to the lethal dose[6]. See also the notes above on toxicity.

A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves[1]. It is used in the treatment of cardiac disorders[1].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - surface sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 4 weeks at 20°c[14]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ in the spring or autumn.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Digitalis purpurea. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Easily grown in ordinary garden soil, especially if it is rich in organic matter[15]. Prefers a light dry soil in semi-shade[16] but succeeds in full sun if the soil is moist[17]. Grows well in acid soils[16].

Plants are hardy to about -25°c[18]. The foxglove is a very ornamental plant that is easily naturalized in the semi-shade of a woodland[15]. It contains glycosides and forms the basis of an important heart medicine for which it is cultivated commercially[10]. This species is commonly used by herbalists, whereas D. lanata is more commonly grown for supplying the pharmaceutical industry[19]. The plant contains much greater concentrations of the medically active ingredients when it is grown in a sunny position[20]. The flowers are very attractive to bees[10][21]. Individual plants can produce up to 2 million seeds[10]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[22].

A good companion plant, it stimulates the growth of nearby plants, growing well with pine trees[23][24][7].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Digitalis purpurea. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Digitalis purpurea.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Digitalis purpurea
Genus
Digitalis
Family
Scrophulariaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Digitalis purpurea 220605.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Digitalis purpurea 220605.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    2. ? Altmann. H. Poisonous Plants and Animals. Chatto and Windus ISBN 0-7011-2526-8 (1980-00-00)
    3. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    4. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    5. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.2 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.3 Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds. Frederick Muller Ltd ISBN 0-584-10141-4 (1977-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.3 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.510.610.710.8 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    14. ? Bird. R. (Editor) Focus on Plants. Volume 5. (formerly 'Growing from seed') Thompson and Morgan. (1991-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.2 Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    18. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    19. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    20. ? Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()
    21. ? Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden. ()
    22. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    23. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
    24. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)

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    Facts about "Digitalis purpurea"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyScrophulariaceae +
    Belongs to genusDigitalis +
    Has binomial nameDigitalis purpurea +
    Has common nameFoxglove +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has fertility typeBees +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has imageDigitalis purpurea 220605.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typeBiennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useDye + and Preservative +
    Has mature height1.2 +
    Has mature width0.6 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useCardiac +, Diuretic +, Homeopathy +, Stimulant + and Tonic +
    Has primary imageDigitalis purpurea 220605.jpg +
    Has search namedigitalis purpurea + and foxglove +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameDigitalis purpurea +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Digitalis purpurea +, Digitalis purpurea +, Digitalis purpurea +, Digitalis purpurea +, Digitalis purpurea +, Digitalis purpurea + and Digitalis purpurea +