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A picture of a Purple Foxglove

Purple Foxglove

Digitalis purpurea

Also known as

Common Foxglove, Foxglove, Lady's Glove, Dead mens bells, Fairy thimbles, Witches gloves

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

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A photo of Purple Foxglove
A photo of Purple Foxglove
A photo of Purple Foxglove
A photo of Purple Foxglove
A photo of Purple Foxglove

Purple Foxglove Overview

Digitalis purpurea is a herbaceous biennial, or short-lived perennial which produces tall spires of bell-shaped flowers. It is a very attractive plant to insects, particularly bees. This species is part of the Plantaginaceae family. It provides wonderful height and colour in most garden situations and also grows happily in wild woodland, thanks to its willingness to grow in shade or sun alike.

Common problems with Purple Foxglove

Can suffer from leaf & bud eelworms.

Purple Foxglove Companion Plants

Woodland plants such as Japanese maple, hydrangea, columbines and ferns make good companions.

How to harvest Purple Foxglove

Flower spikes can be cut just as the 1st flowers start to open, soak the stem in cold water overnight having cut diagonally across the stem. Harvest seeds from seed head after flowering (will also self-seed).

How to propagate Purple Foxglove


Allowing the plant to stand after flowering will provide many seeds to be sown straight after. Seeds can be sown in situ.

Special features of Purple Foxglove

Attracts useful insects

Bees absolutely love the foxgloves and will happily bumble up and down the stem visiting the flowers.

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Attracts butterflies

Other uses of Purple Foxglove

Under shrubs, borders. Leaves are poisonous if eaten.


To be used only by medical practitioners for treating heart diseases.


Perfect for adding architectural spikes of interest in your large flower beds or borders.

Looking Good In May - Top 10

Traditionally flowering in May, these flowers will be at their best this month.

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Garden Biennials

A biennial plant takes two years to complete it's flowering cycle but worth the wait.

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