everyday nature trails by Theresagreen.me

The Foxglove – of Fairytales, Myths & Medicine

June is the month when elegant Foxgloves are at their best in many parts of Wales. I took most of the photographs in this post in Pembrokeshire where they adorn woodlands, roadsides and cliffs of the mainland and some of the offshore islands. Beautiful to behold, poisonous in the wrong hands yet life-saving when used for good, they have a long-held and fascinating place in our natural history.

Foxglove-Digitalis purpuraea

FoxgloveDigitalis purpurea – Welsh – Ffion or Maneg Ellyllyn — The Good People’s Glove

The graceful Foxglove is a downy biennial herb that thrives in acidic soils in a wide range of habitats. In their first year large downy basal leaves are produced, followed in their second year by impressive flower spikes from 3-6 feet (1-2m) tall. The plants die once they have seeded, but if the flowers are picked before they go to seed, the basal leaves will last another year and they will attempt to seed again.

Flowers open first at the base of the stem and graduates upwards

A stand of Foxgloves in a Pembrokeshire woodland

Three basic colours self-seed – pink, purple & white. They can come true to the parent plant where colour forms are isolated, but they cross-pollinate freely & many stands of foxgloves include all three shades.

In a Pembrokeshire woodland

In Wales the Foxglove  is a characteristic plant of early summer, thriving on acidic soil in the shady conditions of open woods, woodland clearings and hedge banks. But it also tolerates the open and exposed habitats of moorland and heath margins, sea-cliffs and rocky mountain slopes.

It may also  appear where  ground has been disturbed, such as in newly cleared woodland, or where the

READ MORE HERE: https://theresagreen.me/2012/06/20/foxglove-fairytales-myths-medicine/

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