Digitalis purpurea | ‘Monstrosa’ Foxglove
Foxglove, also known as Ladys Glove, is a large woodland wildflower that’s widely popular because of it’s dramatic form and color in the garden. Common Foxgloves make some of the best cottage garden and early summer garden plants and cut flowers.
This ‘Monstera’ Foxglove, also known as Gloxinia Foxglove, is one of the most unique and exceptionally rare flowers found in a garden! It is the result of a floral genetic mutation that occur spontaneously, but infrequently in nature, called ‘terminal peloria’. Most of the flowers on the plant appear normal, but there is a huge bowl-shaped terminal flower on top that opens before the other flowers, despite being located above them. The terminal flower is radially symmetrical and seems to be composed of a ring of spotted petals fused together. Normally foxgloves have indeterminate inflorescences, which means that the apex of the flower spike continues to produce flowers until it becomes exhausted, sometimes achieving a considerable height in a single flowering season. However, in this mutant plant with terminal peloria, the flower stalk is terminated by the abnormal “bell-flower”, which means that no further flowers can be produced. Because of this, the plant will not grow as tall as typical Common Foxgloves, pushing out shorter 2-5 ft flower stalks lined with pink, purple, white, and cream spotted bell-flowers.
During the first year, plants will grow into a large rosette of foliage. The second year plants will shoot up a flower spike with various colored bell-shaped flowers with ivory spotted throats.
Foxgloves are drought tolerant and thrive in sandy, well-drained soil and gravel. Full shade to full sun. Benefits from midday shade in the hottest regions. Dead-head for prolonged blooms.
Although it’s a biennial it acts (in a way) as a perennial by self-seeding each year. It’s best to direct sow seed outdoors during late winter/early spring rains however they can be started easily indoors as well. Foxglove will self seed freely, but some can revert to the wild color form, so pull out any seedlings with red stems if you want them to remain pure.
A variety of pollinators including honeybees, bumblebees, hummingbirds, butterflies and moths find it hard to resist the flower towers. Deer and pest resistant.
Caution: All parts of the plant are highly toxic if ingested.
Type: Biennial or short lived-perennial
Sun exposure: Full shade to full sun
Mature height: 2-5 ft
Mature width- 12- 18 inches
Hardiness zones: 4-9