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Digitalis ferruginea AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Columnar/Upright

Toxicity

Highly toxic by ingestion

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Flower

Brown and Yellow in Summer

Foliage

Dark Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

1-1.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

rusty foxglove

Family

Plantaginaceae


Digitalis can be biennials or usually short-lived perennials forming a rosette of simple leaves with bell-shaped flowers in slender, erect, usually one-sided racemes

D. ferruginea is a vigorous biennial or perennial forming a rosette of dark green lance-shaped leaves, with tall racemes of tubular bell-shaped yellow-brown flowers 3.5cm in length in summer

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade
  • Full shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, East-facing or West-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Will grow in almost any soil or situation except very wet or very dry; ideal site is a humus-rich soil in partial shade. A perennial but often treated as a biennial.

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Loam, Chalk, Sand or Clay

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame in late spring or propagate by division in early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden or Flower borders and beds


How to care

Pruning

Cut back main flower spike as it fades to encourage the growth of flowering side shoots

Pests

Can get aphids and leaf and bud eelworms

Diseases

May be affected by leaf spots and powdery mildew