Saturday, August 02, 2008

Rusty Foxglove

Rusty Foxglove
Digitalis ferruginea
(dig-ee-TAH-liss) (fer-oo-GIN-ee-uh)

Today’s plant is one that I haven’t grown before but have admired on several occasions. It is a self-seeding biennial that can establish large colonies when the conditions are right. Those conditions include moist, acidic, rich soil with part shade. Any Foxglove looks good to me and this one is nice since the colors are a little different.

Foxglove is one of the most requested plants by clients. I guess its stately, architectural appearance is one reason. The biennial nature of its life cycle is tough for borders but I love planting them in naturalized, woodland and cottage gardens. Since we heavily mulch most plantings it is difficult for the seeds to germinate. We have been experimenting this year with not mulching around the Foxglove plantings but won’t really know if this works until next year. Remember to leave at least a few faded flower stalks to develop fully for reseeding. I like to remove some of the spent flowers since the plants will often rebloom from side shoots.


Anonymous said...

Nice job. I'm still trying to figure out how to capture the whole plant. This year I've got one over 6 feet tall. It's like shooting a flagpole. The blooms are nice up close. But it's one of those plants that knocks me over in person when you can take in the whole spire.

i beati said...

makes me thing vintage, antiques turn of century

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Hi craig,

Having that 24mm lens has inspired me to take a few more 'whole' plant pictures. I guess you have to go wide.

sandy, your right it looks like an old plant. So different from the more modern hybrids.

Unknown said...

Lovely picture. It reminds me of my Spanish foxglove, but with a little deeper color and bigger individual flowers.

I wonder if you could hedge your bets, and mulch around the foxgloves with a triple-shred mulch or Sweet Peet, which would allow them to reseed at will but still keep the moisture in?