Monday, December 21, 2009

Foxglove 'Excelsior' Mix Seeds

Botanical Name: Digitalis purpurea (Scrophulariaceae)
Other name: Common Foxglove, Purple Foxglove, Finger Flower, Fairy Glove

Foxglove is a bienneial herbal plant with soft, hairy, toothed, ovate and lance-shaped leaves in a basal rosette. The life span of the plant is 2 seasons. The first year growth remains in a basal rosette of leaves. Second year growth produces flowering stems, 3 -6 feet in height. Flower spikes have purple to white spotted thimble-like flowers which hang down and last about six days. The leaves of the Common Foxglove are the source of the medicinal drug digitalis. The whole plant is poisonous. Foxglove is a source of digitalis prescribed by doctors to strengthen the heart and regulate its beat. Drugs based on digitalis extract, such as Digitoxin and Digoxin, are some of the best known treatments to control the heart rate.

How to grow
They need a soil rich in organic matter to be at their best. Sow them in pots in late summer (early fall, or inside in Phoenix). The seeds should not be covered with soil, but just pressed in. Transplant in late fall. Set the young foxglove plants 1 foot apart (30 cm).

Sun Exposure: Light shade to full sun
Origin: Central Europe
Growth Habits: Biennial or short lived perennial, up to 5 feet tall (1.5 m), up to 2 feet in spread (60 cm)
Watering Needs: Regular water, good drainage
Propagation: Seeds in fall or division. Self seed easily
USDA: 5-10
Germination: 20-30 days,
Soil temperature for germination: 60-65F
Suggested use: Shaded areas, wildflower mixes, waste places.

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