Re: Foxgloves

One of my foxgloves has a single large flower at the top of the spik like a single rose. The rest of the flower spike is normal. Is thi something abnormal or has anyone seen it before - Mario ----------------------------------------------------------------------- posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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I planted two foxglove plants about 3-4 years ago. Every year they bloom, but the blooms are very small and unremarkable - not at all like the pictures one sees of foxglove stalks covered with large bell-shaped blossoms. Does anyone know if what I got was just a variety that produces small blooms, or should I be doing something different to encourage larger blooms. The plants seem happy and healthy where they are in a shady spot under a tree, just little bloomers! Thanks for any info you might have, Gary
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On 20 Jun 2004 12:33:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Gary) wrote:

Not sure, but the Foxgloves in our yard grow larger if they are growing in compost.
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Here are a couple of guesses, though the thing that puzzles me a bit is your saying your stunted foxglove has unimpressive flowers. There IS a dwarf foxglove, namely Digitalis obscura, but but even being fall smaller, the blooms ARE quite showy even though the plant is very small compared to our native Foxglove. Here's a page about it: http://www.paghat.com/digitalisobscura.html The large foxgloves are biennials & unless they are self-seeding, your statement that they've been small & unimpressive for "years" suggests it just isn't the species you thought. D. obscura by comparison lives for several years.
Yet another dwarf foxglove is Digitalis dubia, but this one looks much more greatly like the full-sized Digitalis purpuraea, merely scaled down to an eency size. It's showy as the all get-out despite its tininess.
You may just have the plant misidentified altogether. Penstemons can sometimes look rather like foxgloves, but never as showy; one species is even named for the resemblance, Penstemon digitalis, but all the other species also have thimble or bellshaped blooms. Penstemons have extremely pleasing flowers but if one expected foxgloves, they might look shrunken & unimpressive by comparison, plus penstemons can "wear out" in time, or in stressful conditions, & thus produce fewer & much less impressive flowers, or the blooms might be very nice but get lost in an excess of foliage.
It might help to know the color of yours. D. obscura would be yellow or bronze; D. dubia would be the same bright rosey color of large biennial foxgloves, Penstemon digitalis would most likely be white to very pale pink, but penstemons in general come in all sorts of colors.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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I have digitalis ambigua. It is rather small and the flower are an ivory color. It is very reliable and I have seen it listed as a true perennial foxglove The plant never gets more than about 12 inches for me and has just started to self sow after about 6 years. It tends to be semi-evergreen in my zone 6 garden. Here is a picture from a few years ago. http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/05262001.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID40
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http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/05262001.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID40 Thanks, everyone, for your responses to my question - and my apologies for not acknowledging sooner. You know, life gets busy, etc. - still no excuse. Sorry. I'm still not sure what kind of foxglove I have. It appears to be a perennial variety, rather than one that re-seeds itself. Or possibly, I have a plant that was incorrectly labeled at the nursery where I bought it. Paghat - Your website is WONDERFUL! Thanks! Gary
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