Rusty Foxglove

Digitalis ferruginea

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Digitalis ferruginea or rusty foxglove is a biennial or short-lived perennial species native to sub-alpine and woodland meadows of the Caucasus. It is perfect for adding architectural spikes of interest, especially if planted against a dark background such as shrubs. In summer, it produces tubular to bell-shaped yellow-brown flowers measuring around 3.5cm in length on tall racemes. Leaves are lance-shaped, dark green in colour and arranged in a rosette. This plant suits a woodland garden setting perfectly, but can be planted in full sunlight, partial shade or full shade. It has been cultivated in European gardens for a long time, first appearing in British gardens in the late 1500s. This plant has earnt a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit. This species is also part of the RHS “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. Making it a great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!
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Flowering time

Summer, Spring


Harvest seed when seed pods are brown. If the central spike has been removed to produce side shoots, there will be little seed produced. Store the seed in a cool place.



Sow seed on the surface of good seed compost in spring at around 10 degrees Celsius. A cold-frame is an ideal location for this. Do not cover the seeds, as they need light to germinate successfully.


Divide in early spring.

Special features

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

Attracts butterflies

Attracts bees

Special features


Romania, Hungary, Turkey & Caucasia, South & South East Europe

Natural climate

Temperate to cool climates



Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture


Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness




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




Flower colour





Slugs, leaf and bulb eelworms and leaf-spot may also be a problem.

Companion plants

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Knowledge and advice

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