Digitalis, commonly known as Foxglove, is a genus of about 25 species of herbaceous plants in the family Plantaginaceae, native to Europe, Asia and northwestern Africa.
This eye-catching, dramatic plant bears cluster of tall, pendulous tubular or bell-shaped flowers. Attractive and distinct, Foxgloves are easily recognizable wild flowers widely known for their toxicity, as well as medical properties.
The genus name comes from the Latin word “digitus” (meaning “finger”) because the plant can be easily fitted over a finger.
Digitalis is a symbol of protection and healing.
Interesting facts about Digitalis:
Is Digitalis poisonous?
Digitalis is extremely poisonous because of the presence of powerful chemicals that can cause the heart rate to slow down or become irregular. All parts of the plant are toxic, including flowers, leaves, sap, seeds and roots. Consuming the plant, even dried, causes serious health problems, such as tremors, convulsions, hallucinations, blurred vision and even death.
Benefits and Uses
Even its highly poisonous, Digitalis is well known as a source of medication.
Its toxic chemicals are used to make a drug called digoxin. These chemicals can help people suffering from congestive heart failure, asthma, irregular heartbeat, epilepsy, tuberculosis, headache and spasm by increasing the heart blood output and strenght of heart muscle contractions. Its not recommended to use Digitalis for self medication.
These flowers appear in shades of white, yellow, pink, red and purple.
Foxgloves are tall beauties which can grow up to 180 cm (6 ft), depending on variety.
The plant grows best in moist and well drained soil, with a pH between 6 and 7.5.