Digitalis purpurea L., Sp. Pl. 621 1753. (Syn: Digitalis alba Schrank; Digitalis campbelliana W.Baxter; Digitalis carnea Meigen & Weing.; Digitalis fucata Ehrh.; Digitalis gloxinioides Carrière; Digitalis gyspergerae Rouy; Digitalis intermedia Lapeyr.; Digitalis libertiana Dumort.; Digitalis longiflora Lej.; Digitalis media Elmig.; Digitalis miniana Samp.; Digitalis nevadensis Kunze; Digitalis purpurascens Roth; Digitalis purpurascens Lej.; Digitalis purpurea f. alba (Schrank) K.Werner; Digitalis purpurea var. albiflora Lej.; Digitalis purpurea f. alpina K.Werner; Digitalis purpurea subsp. bocquetii Valdés; Digitalis purpurea f. carnea (Meigen & Weing.) K.Werner; Digitalis purpurea var. gyspergerae (Rouy) Fiori; Digitalis purpurea var. humilis Rouy; Digitalis purpurea f. humilis (Rouy) K.Werner; Digitalis purpurea var. miniana (Samp.) Cout.; Digitalis purpurea var. nevadensis Amo; Digitalis purpurea var. parviflora Lej.; Digitalis purpurea f. parviflora (Lej.) K.Werner; Digitalis purpurea var. tomentosa (Hoffmanns. & Link) Webb; Digitalis purpurea var. valida Merino; Digitalis purpureolutea G.Mey.; Digitalis speciosa Salisb.; Digitalis thapsi Bertero ex Nyman .; Digitalis tomentosa Hoffmanns. & Link);
Belgium, England, Corsica, Czech Republic (I), Slovakia, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sardinia, Sweden, Austria (I), Denmark (I), Netherlands (I), Hungary (I), Poland (I), Croatia, Morocco, European Russia, Estonia (c), Belarus (I), Russian Far East (I), Costa Rica (I), Australia (I)
(New South Wales (I), Victoria (I), Tasmania (I)), Taiwan (I), Java (I), Auckland Isl. (I), Argentina (I), Jamaica (I), Cuba (I), Mexico (I), El Salvador (I), Peru (I), Venezuela (I), Colombia (I), Ecuador (I), Panama (I), Bolivia (I), Chile (I), New Zealand (I), China (I) (Jiangsu (I), Jiangxi (I), Sichuan (I), Zhejiang (I)), Korea (I), trop. Africa (I), Juan Fdz. Isl. (I), Argentina (I), Uruguay (I), La Runion (I), Azores (Sao Miguel Isl., Terceira, Sao Jorge, Pico, Flores Isl.), Madeira (Madeira Isl., Ilhas Desertas), Canary Isl. (Tenerife), Myanmar [Burma] (I), Vietnam (I), Darjeeling (I), Philippines (c), India (I), Nepal (I), Pakistan (I), Alaska (I), USA (I) (California (I), Colorado (I), Connecticut (I), Idaho (I), Massachusetts (I), Maryland (I), Maine (I), Michigan (I), Montana (I), New Hampshire (I), New Jersey (I), New York (I), Ohio (I), Oregon (I), Pennsylvania (I), Utah (I), Vermont (I), Washington State (I), Wisconsin (I), West Virginia (I), Wyoming (I)), Canada (I) (British Columbia (I), New Brunswick (I), Newfoundland (I), Nova Scotia (I), Ontario (I), Quebec (I)), St. Pierre et Miquelon (I)
as per Catalogue of Life;
Common Foxglove, Purple Foxglove or Lady’s Glove;

Digitalis purpurea (foxglove, common foxglove, purple foxglove or lady’s glove), is a species of flowering plant in the genus Digitalis, in the family Scrophulariaceae, native and widespread throughout most of temperate Europe. It is also naturalised in parts of North America and some other temperate regions. 

The plants are well known as the original source of the heart medicine digoxin, (also called digitalis or digitalin).
Digitalis purpurea is an herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant. The leaves are spirally arranged, simple, 10–35 cm long and 5–12 cm broad, and are covered with gray-white pubescent and glandular hairs, imparting a woolly texture. The foliage forms a tight rosette at ground level in the first year.
The flowering stem develops in the second year, typically 1 to 2 m tall, sometimes longer. The flowers are arranged in a showy, terminal, elongated cluster, and each flower is tubular and pendent. The flowers are typically purple, but some plants, especially those under cultivation, may be pink, rose, yellow, or white. The inside surface of the flower tube is heavily spotted. The flowering period is early summer, sometimes with additional flower stems developing later in the season. The plant is frequented by bees, which climb right inside the flower tube to gain the nectar within.
The fruit is a capsule which splits open at maturity to release the numerous tiny (0.1-0.2 mm) seeds.
Due to the presence of the cardiac glycoside digitoxin, the leaves, flowers and seeds of this plant are all poisonous to humans and some animals and can be fatal if eaten.
Extracted from the leaves, this same compound, whose clinical use was pioneered as digitalis by William Withering, is used as a medication for heart failure. He recognized it “reduced dropsy“, increased urine flow and had a powerful effect on the heart. Unlike the purified pharmacological forms, extracts of this plant did not frequently cause intoxication because they induced nausea and vomiting within minutes of ingestion, preventing the patient from consuming more.
The main toxins in Digitalis spp. are the two chemically similar cardiac glycosides: digitoxin and digoxin. Like other cardiac glycosides, these toxins exert their effects by inhibiting the ATPase activity of a complex of transmembrane proteins that form the sodium potassium ATPase pump, (Na+/K+-ATPase). Inhibition of the Na+/K+-ATPase in turn causes a rise not only in intracellular Na+, but also in calcium, which in turn results in increased force of myocardial muscle contractions. In other words, at precisely the right dosage, Digitalis toxin can cause the heart to beat more strongly. However, digitoxin, digoxin and several other cardiac glycosides, such as ouabain, are known to have steep dose-response curves, i.e. minute increases in the dosage of these drugs can make the difference between an ineffective dose and a fatal one.
Symptoms of Digitalis poisoning include a low pulse rate, nausea, vomiting, and uncoordinated contractions of different parts of the heart, leading to cardiac arrest and finally death.
(From Wikipedia on 9.8.13)


Flora of Chakrata: Digitalis purpurea f. alba from Chakrata Deovan Herbal Garden:
Digitalis purpurea f. alba from Chakrata Deovan Herbal Garden. pls validate


Scrophulariaceae Fortnight: Digitalis purpurea from Chakrata-NS 7 :  Attachments (6). 2 posts by 2 authors.
Foxglove or Digitalis purpurea L. a poisonous yet medicinally important plant was captured from Herbal Garden Deoban, Chakrata….
native of temperate regions of the globe especially Europe……
formerly in Scrophulariaceae, this is now placed in family Plantaginaceae..

Very good pics …
It also occur as escapes in many apple orchards.


Scrophulariaceae Fortnight: Digitalis purpurea from Darjeeling MN5 : Attachments (3). 4 posts by 3 authors.

Digitalis purpurea
Place : Darjeeling
Date : May 2013

Beautiful pictures


Digitalis purpurea L. ??? : 8 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (3)

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal 
Date : 29 March, 2013
Altitude: 4400 ft.
From a flower show !

Nice images. Pl. check in efi site.

I think you are right as per keys & comparative images at Digitalis

Yes, Digitalis purpurea


Scrophulariaceae Fortnight: Digitalis purpurea from Chakrata-NS 7 : Attachments (6). 4 posts by 3 authors.
Foxglove or Digitalis purpurea L. a poisonous yet medicinally important plant was captured from Herbal Garden Deoban, Chakrata….
native of temperate regions of the globe especially Europe……
formerly in Scrophulariaceae, this is now placed in family Plantaginaceae..

Very good pics … It also occur as escapes in many apple orchards.


Scrophulariaceae Fortnight : 09082013 ARK-03 : Digitalis purpurea from Chicago and San Francisco, USA – May 2013 : Attachments (7). 4 posts by 3 authors.
Attached are pictures of Digitalis purpurea captured in Chicago and San Francisco, USA in May 2013.

Yes … Very nice photographs.

Yes different coloured Digitalis plants.

Foxglove – New York – 231013 – RK – 3 : Attachments (5). 4 posts by 3 authors.
At The Cloisters, New York – 20/06/13 – late morning. Request Botanical ID.

It looks like Digitalis purpurea

Yes Digitalis purpurea





Fwd: Digitalis purpurea in UK and beyond : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (12)
‘Foxglove’ is a native of W.Europe from Ireland south the Spain, east to Finland, Czech Republic, in Corsica and Sardinia; widely naturalised elsewhere in Europe, in North America and on mountains in North Africa.
A number of subspecies are recognised.
In UK, Digitalis purpurea is common in open places in woods and on heaths and mountain rocks. Often becoming dominant in clearings and burnt areas in woods on light dry soils.
D.lanata, D.lutea and D.grandiflora have been recorded as escapes from cultivation.
I attach 12 images of D.purpurea taken in 2012 near coast in Central Wales, UK during a botanical tour with John Norton (a team member of the University of Southampton Ladakh Expedition 1980).
Digitalis purpurea was widely collected for medicinal use in UK during World War II. The drug digitalin, obtained from this plant, has been widely used for heart complaints.

Digitalis Species For ID : Srinagar,Kashmir : 20DEC16 : AK-37 : 6 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
Digitalis Species seen in one of the Mughal Gardens.
Cultivated, garden plant.
Picture taken in the last week of April.
Digitalis purpurea?
Experts kindly validate my suggested id.

efi page on Digitalis purpurea 

There are no NATIVE species of Digitalis in Kashmir or anywhere in the Himalaya.
Flowers of Himalaya mentions 2 species: Digitalis purpurea the ‘Common Foxglove’ of the UK with its spikes of rosy-purple spotted tubular flowers is locally naturalised from gardens in Kashmir.
They also include Digitalis lanata – another ‘escape’ in Kashmir; they describe the flowers as brownish with a white lip.
I cannot think what the plant you have photographed could be other than Digitalis purpurea – even though the flowers have not fully opened – though no doubt there are other Digitalis cultivated in the region.
Stewart also lists D.lanata and D.purpurea – the former reported from Kashmir by Rao saying it was no doubt cultivated. He says D.purpurea is planted for use as a medicine and for its beautiful flowers.
Naqshi, Singh & Koul in ‘Plants of Gulmarg’ (1984) record D.lanata from Wastelands at Khelanmarg; D.purpurea among bushes at Gulmarg.
I must admit to having paid minimal attention to foxgloves during my travels around the Kashmir Valley in the 1980s.
In my ‘Report of the Kashmir Botanical Expedition 1983’ (published privately in 1984) I list two in my Systematic List of Vascular Plants and Flowering Plants observed in the field during the expedition. Both were seen at Gulmarg; one in a hotel garden – I was not able to identify either at that time but presumably were D.lanata and D.purpurea.
Whilst there are a number of postings of Digitalis purpurea on eFI, I think it would be useful for reference/ comparative purposes, if I post a selection of images of this species taken in the UK – where it is common (and perhaps the source of introductions into cultivation in Kashmir, as far back as the 19th Century – its medicinal properties have been known since medieval times).
I also have a few images of a ‘naturalised’ Digitalis growing near Gulmarg as I walked down from Khelanmarg during my last visit to Kashmir.
Must check which species this is – taking a quick look at postings for Digitalis on eFI there has been some uncertainty/ confusion.
Further comments will be better within additional post(s).
Once again, I was anticipating a relatively brief post about Digitalis purpurea but as with so many genera both native and introduced/cultivated in the Himalaya, there is a need for further clarification.

Thank you for validating my suggested id.

digitalis plant in khajjiar:
the potent cardiac medicine digitalis (homeopathy) and Digoxin (allopathy) is extracted from digitalis
photographed in khajjiar

– One of mine near Nainital.

– German commonname Fingerhut (thimble, because of the form of the flower)

– Does it naturally occur in India or is it introduced ? I have seen this growing in the wild in Kodaikanal hill station in TN.

– Available in plenty in Ooty, Tamil Nadu


help identify please:
this is from NEORA valley next to kalimpong.

Looks like the “Purple Foxglove” (Digitalis purpurea of Plantaginaceae family).
Caution: This is a poisonous plant.

Fingerhut (german for thistle because of its form) Digitalis purpurea will send fotos from my garden when they start flowering.

Recently I came to know that this plant Digitalis purpurea has been shifted from Scrophulariaceae to Plantaginaceae.

Foxglove (Digitalis) from Srinagar:
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) from Srinagar gardens.
Date – June 01, 2011 

AAAH!  cultivated varieties of the native … native plants have fewer flowers… often a bit smaller…
these are beautiful…

Yes, .. Both these colours are found in Gulmarg where it seems to have run as escape.

Digitalis from San Francisco Bot garden:
Digitalis from San Francisco Bot garden.
These are some of the pictures of what I believe to be Digitalis purpurea
cultivated and growing profusely in SF Bot garden.
Similar plants with that big inflorescence were as also spotted growing wild North to SF on way to Point Reyes.

Coincidentally a lot of plants grow here in Gulmarg here

Yes, gorgeous… Digitalis purpurea
Digitalis this profusely flowering is  hybridized….
not wild type…
wild type sets sparser flowers… (seen in English countrysides, in hedges…)

This heavy flowering cultivar has escaped and is seen thoughout SW USA, and in the Northeastern states…
however slowly the numbers of flowers and their size decrease… to a few per spike…
NOT a matter of fertilizer..  because even in heavily manured parts of summer gardens
some volunteers come up year after year and show lesser and lesser flowers…

We also have it in plenty out here in Dalhousie.. and there are two varieties..
Digitalis purpurea and Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora (White/ creamish)


Digitalis purpurea from Kashmir different colours:
Different colours found in Digitalis purpurea in Kashmir. Photographed from Gulmarg and Harwan in Kashmir in June

Digitalis purpurea ‘Chamelot White’ from Gulmarg, Kashmir:
This distinctive cultivar of Digitalis purpurea cv. Chamelot White, commonly known as White foxglove has distinctive markings on the corolla. The flowering stems are often unbranched.
Photographed from Gulmarg, Kashmir

I believe the variety is ‘Camelot White’.



I suppose Digitalis grandiflora

here is the Wikipedia link on Digitalis grandiflora.

The plant is not D. grandiflora, which in addition to flower colour has clearly linear calyx lobes. … plant has vate-lanceolate, which as well as leaves and colour variation suggests D. purpurea cv. ‘Alba’ (syn: D. alba).…


Flora of Chakrata: Digitalis Purpurea from Herbal garden Deovan Chakrata:
Digitalis purpurea from Herbal garden Deovan Chakrata
shot Taken 28/06/10

Yes .., rather end of season for this plant

Isnt it naturalized yet?

May be naturalized also, we got from herbal garden

digitalis in Ooty:
This might be some species of Digitalis photographed in Ooty on last week.
Anyone can confirm this and knows the species name?

Digitalis purpurea, I suppose



Scrophulariaceae Fortnight: Digitalis purpurea from Kashmir-GS-13 : Attachments (1). 1 post by 1 author.

Digitalis purpureafrom Kashmir, cultivated and more or less naturalised at many places, especially in Gulmarg.
This one was photographed from Harwan on June 17, 2010.
An important drug plant.
Common names: Foxglove, Digitalis.

This distinctive cultivar of Digitalis purpurea cv. Chamelot White, commonly known as White foxglove has distinctive markings on the corolla. The flowering stems are often unbranched.
Photographed from Gulmarg, Kashmir

Digitalis purpurea
Observed growing wild in Binsar.

Thanks for sharing lovely clicks …




Digitalis purpurea ABAUG2016/41 : 5 posts by 4 authors. 6 images.

This one was a surprise. Though I had seen it in photos I had never seen an actual plant and was happy to find it just before leaving Khajjiar next to a muddy horse track. I found one with white flowers too but believe that it belongs to the same species. Please validate.

Digitalis purpureaCommon Foxglove
14 August 2016.


Digitalis purpurea L. : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4)
Location: Kakani,  Nepal
Altitude :6000 ft.
Date: 19 June 2018
Habit : Cultivated 



Digitalis minor: 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Sharing some pictures of Digitalis minor shot at Kakani on 28 July 2016 at 6000 ft.
New entry to the efi???

Syn : Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora

Thanks, … We have Digitalis purpurea

I think matches with images of Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora

I guess you are right but which on is the correct synonym for it ?

Thanks, … I think we can follow the following:
The Plant List Ver.1.1  IPNI  GBIF  

I think this is Digitalis purpurea only with syn. Digitalis purpurea var. albiflora Lej.; Digitalis purpurea f. alpina K.Werner;
Digitalis minor looks different as per GBIF


Digitalis minor looks different as per GBIF
Pl. correct.

Thanks …, You are right. This plant was named in the days when TPL, which mentions Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora as a synonym of Digitalis minor, was the most updated names data base. I will correct it.