Foxglove Define

Discover the beauty and toxicity of foxglove, a medicinal plant with a rich history and stunning flowers.

Introduction to Foxglove

Foxglove, also known as Digitalis purpurea, is a beautiful flowering plant that belongs to the family Plantaginaceae. It is native to Europe but can be found growing in various regions worldwide. Foxglove is known for its tall spikes of tubular flowers that come in shades of pink, purple, white, and yellow.

Medicinal Uses

Foxglove has a long history of medicinal use, particularly in the treatment of heart conditions. The plant contains compounds called cardiac glycosides, which can help regulate the heartbeat and strengthen the contractions of the heart muscle. Foxglove extracts have been used to treat conditions such as congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and heart arrhythmias.


While foxglove has valuable medicinal properties, it is important to note that the plant is highly toxic if ingested. All parts of the foxglove plant, including the flowers, leaves, and seeds, contain toxic compounds that can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, and even death. It is essential to handle foxglove with care and keep it away from children and pets.


Foxglove is a relatively easy plant to grow, as it thrives in well-drained soil with partial shade. The plant prefers moist conditions and can be propagated from seeds or by dividing established plants. Foxglove is a biennial plant, meaning it typically blooms in its second year of growth before setting seeds and dying off.

Interesting Facts

  • Foxglove is also known by other common names such as fairy thimbles and witches’ gloves.
  • The name ‘digitalis’ comes from the Latin word ‘digitus,’ meaning finger, which refers to the plant’s tubular flowers that resemble finger gloves.
  • Foxglove is a favorite among pollinators such as bees and butterflies due to its nectar-rich flowers.

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