Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Monday, February 27, 2012

Foxglove, Foxes, and Fairies


There is a legend that bad fairies gave the blossom of foxgloves to the fox that he might put them on his toes to soften his tread when he prowled among the roosts.
Mrs. M. Grieve, A Modern Herbal

Last year I bought two foxglove plants (digitalis purpurea) from the local high school's plant sale. I had previously hesitated planting a foxglove in my garden, since they are poisonous and I have animals and two granddaughters. The minute a plant blooms, they want to pick it and bring it into the house. (The granddaughters, not the cats!)  I knew they would not be able to resist these beautiful plants. But I bought them, and they went into my herb garden.  They survived last year's scorching heat, and I found them peeking out from under their mulch this morning.

Foxglove shouldn't get such a bad rap. It was one of the first medicinal herbs used widely in traditional medicine, and is still used today.  As a cardiac nurse, I am well aware of digoxin which plays an important role in the treatment of congestive heart failure.

Don't be afraid to add these pretty flowers to your garden. Be aware of any flower or herb you plant which may be poisonous,and if needed plant them out of the reach of children and animals.  And especially if you have chickens, be on the watch for those mean fairies and crafty foxes.


Foxglove photo courtesy of  

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  • Foxgloves are such beautiful flowers. I also waited a long time to plant them- until I was certain my children understood that this was one plant that it wasn't ok to taste!

    I found your blog via Girl Gab :) .
    I'll be visiting often!

    By Blogger Catherine Love, At February 29, 2012 at 5:41 AM  

  • I just found your blog via Blotanical! (Such a neat resource for finding local garden bloggers) I just moved back to Chattanooga after 10 years away, and I can't wait to explore your blog for plants that are 'comfortable' here. :)

    Happy Gardening!

    By Blogger _emily_rose, At March 19, 2012 at 8:16 AM  

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