Red Foxglove


Surname: Red Foxglove
Latin name: Digitalis purpurea
Other names: Fuchskraut, Waldgl? Ckchen
plant family: Plantain
Number of species: /
circulation area: Europe
original distribution area: Central Europe
Location of the plant: sunny; sour soils
Blдtter: egg-shaped, long-term
Frьchte: ?
Blьtenfarbe: purple
Blьtezeit: June August
Hцhe: 0.5 - 2.0m
Older: two-year-old plant
use: medical use
characteristics: poisonous

Plant information: Red Foxglove

Of the Red thimble or Digitalis purpurea belongs to the family of plantain and was originally native to Central Europe, but today is also found in North America and southern regions such as Morocco. The thimble is a two-year-old plant whose up to two-meter high stem is formed from a rosette. The foliage of this herbaceous plant consists of ovate, slightly pointed leaves with long stems, their numerous flowers are arranged like grapes on long flowering stems and remind in their funnel-shaped appearance on Fingerhüte. They reach a length of up to six centimeters and appear in deep red or bright pink color and have dark purple, white edged patches on the inside. After the flowering season from June to August about 12 millimeters long capsule fruits develop from flowers.
The Red Foxglove is found in the wild on forest edges and clearings and prefers sunny or partially shaded locations. It thrives in nitrogen-containing, acid loamy soil and does not tolerate lime. Because of its extremely attractive flowers, the fairly undemanding plant in Europe is successfully cultivated in many gardens. However, because the red foxglove is extremely poisonous, the cultivation of this plant should be done with utmost care. Especially when small children have access to a garden, fingerhats pose a great and sometimes life-threatening danger.
The digitalis glycosides contained in this plant lead to poisoning when eating the parts of the plant, which causes severe nausea, vomiting, blue lips and severe abdominal pain. In severe cases, if there is no treatment, death due to cardiac arrest will occur.
Although the plant is highly toxic, its derived from the leaves ingredients are used in numerous medicines. Such preparations are effective against cardiac arrhythmias, palpitations, angina pectoris and edema.
While the plant was completely unknown in ancient times, it was widely used in the Middle Ages in Europe, especially in Ireland and England. In Ireland, where faith in elves and trolls is firmly rooted in national cultural heritage, the Red Foxglove enjoyed a particularly important position as a symbolic plant in numerous legends about the Elven people. Even today, the thimble flowers remind many people of the stylized in many representations high flower hats of elves.


This information is for scholastic work only and is not intended to identify edible or inedible plants. Eat or Never use found plants or fruits without appropriate expertise!

Pictures: Red Foxglove