Best of the bunch
The digitalis, whose scientific name means ‘finger-like’ because of the ease with which a flower of D. purpurea can be fitted over a fingertip, is a common sight in this country, growing everywhere from railway sidings to wildflower meadows or standing tall in beds and borders.
These biennials grow easily in most gardens in moist but welldrained soil in dappled shade.
In the first year they produce large rosettes of oval-shaped, deep green leaves followed, in early summer the next year, by a tall spire of flowers.
They look best when planted in groups in front of a dark background of shrubs or in dappled woodland.
Perennial foxgloves include D. grandiflora, a smaller pale yellow version of the more familiar purple foxglove.