Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Heart Foxglove!

I am sure the Foxglove is a flower fairies would make a home.
Little apartments where many fairy friends could live.
They are such beautiful flowers, 
growing wild along the highways of Western Washington.
How could such a beauty be toxic?
Foxglove is a bienneial plant with soft, hairy, toothed, ovate and lance-shaped leaves in a basal rosette. The life span of the plant is 2 seasons. The first year growth remains in a basal rosette of leaves. Second year growth produces flowering stems, 3 -6 feet in height. Flower spikes have purple to white spotted thimble-like flowers which hang down and last about six days. The earliest known name for this plant is the Anglo-Saxon "foxes glofa" (the glove of the fox). It derives its name from the flowers which resemble the fingers of a glove and possibly from a northern legend that bad fairies gave the blossoms to the fox to put on his toes, so that he might soften his tread while he hunted for prey. First year growth has been mistaken for Comfrey (Symphitum officinale) with fatal results. Although, ingestion of this plant can be fatal at any time during the life of the plant, it is most toxic just before the seeds ripen. The upper leaves of the stem are also more toxic than the lower leaves. 

To learn more click HERE!


Shirley said...

We had some that grew wild behind us in the empty lot last summer. Guess it must've been on the 2nd season. They were beautiful!

Ann Flowers said...

What an incredible blossom. I am not at all familiar with this plant, but it sounds like one I would like to get to know better.