Foxglove Facts



Common Names: Foxglove, fairy-bells, ladies’-thimble

Botanical Name: Digitalis

Native to Britain & Europe

Through the centuries, foxgloves have always been known as fairy flowers. They resemble fingers of a glove  and tend to grow on woody slopes where foxes’  burrows are often found.


English foxes were brought to America in the eighteenth century by hunting club purists in Philadelphia. The foxglove plants were also imported to America in the 18th century.

Medicinal properties had been discovered in the plant.


Foxgloves are toxic and medicinal. Animals avoid them like the plague, especially deer and rabbits. In 1776, William Withering, an English physician, discovered that his patient was miraculously cured by taking an old cure of a garden plant called foxglove.

Foxglove aka digitalis is very toxic and fatal with an overdose. The leaves have glycosides called digitoxin, a stimulant that improves heart tone and rhythm, which then improves circulation. At one time, digitalis was universally accepted to treat heart disease. It’s also used in the treatment of glaucoma.

Keep foxglove away from pets



2 thoughts on “Foxglove Facts

  1. My neighbor used to grow beautiful foxgloves.

    After he died the house was sold and one of the owners ripped them out and poured a concrete slab.

    I miss them.

    I could only grow them in the front as I do have a dog in the back yard and who knows what he might eat.

    I need to redo some of my front so maybe I’ll put in a few Foxgloves along the front of the house between the windows. I need something tall in proportion to the house.

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