Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Collins, 222; Readers Digest, 267

A wonderful tall perennial with large pink-purple flowers which are tubular and two lipped; it flourishes here and flowers in our woods and scrubland from June to September.  It is believed that the name does not derive from the fact that the flowers might be suitable as gloves for foxes but probably derives from a series of incorrect spelling of ‘folks’’ meaning fairies.  In Somerset the plant is known as ‘Fairy Bells’.  Foxglove is also poisonous although the drug Digitalis which is derived from it is used in small doses in the treatment of heart complaints.