The plant takes its name from digitus, the Latin word for finger and was so called long before official Linnean nomenclature was the practice. The common English name, foxglove, may have originated from folk’s (woodland folk or faeries) glove. The elongated bell-shaped flowers so easily fit the tip of a finger that their resemblance to a glove or a thimble is unmistakable. In Germany, the plant was called fingerhut or thimble; in Ireland Dead Man’s Thimbles; in Norwegian, Revbielde, meaning “Foxbell,” the only specific reference to fox.
The Common Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, is a favorite ornamental garden plant, valued for its showy flowers, its colors ranging from purple and magenta to pale pinks and whites, its intriguing speckles and freckles, its mottling and spotting. Every part of the plant is toxic, especially the leaves of the upper stem. See more »