Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Fairy Thimbles (Foxglove)

Perhaps as a result of the cool, cloudy spring we experienced, our foxgloves have reached for the sky this year – some are well over seven feet tall! Every time I look out the bathroom window, which overlooks their woodland corner, I feel transported to Tolkien’s Middle-earth: it’s as if Elrond and Legolas might emerge from the forest at any moment.

The foxgloves are the enduring result of a gift my father-in-law brought me many years ago: an envelope of seeds he had gathered from wild foxgloves near his home. I’ve been growing them ever since, gathering the germ of a new generation every second fall when seeds form on these bienniel plants (Digitalis purpurea), then starting a new round of seedlings when winter’s end is near.

Foxglove has had some interesting monikers over the centuries. Some reflect their poisonous nature: Witches’ Gloves, Dead Men’s Bells, Dead Men’s Thimbles, Bloody Fingers. Others are gentler: Lady’s Gloves, Fairy Caps, Fairy Thimbles and Folk’s Glove (which gave rise to its modern name).

Whatever you call them, I can’t help but love these magnificent plants and the Tolkienesque tableau they create in our forest garden.

Foxgloves (Digitalis Purpurea)

Foxglove Tableau

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About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer and writer focusing on nature and the environment

6 responses »

  1. […] in turn captures a bright and beautiful sunset that is truly accented by the visual effect shared.An Enduring Gift – beautiful flowers are the subject of this photo-post by Laurie MacBride as she shares two […]

  2. […] An Enduring Gift – beautiful flowers are the subject of this photo-post by Laurie MacBride as she shares two images of Foxgloves in full bloom.  The beautiful colors of the flowers are very striking, and Laurie does a great job in putting this post together for everyone to enjoy. […]

  3. Lovely, Laurie. We have some foxgloves in our garden also and I’m hoping they are, indeed, reaching for the sky! It’s so nice to have these bloom after the tulips are gone.

  4. jessegarden says:

    Beautiful, thanks for sharing. I should try this in my garden.

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