by johnah on November 11, 2020
Foxglove plants are perennials that grow in the garden year round. They have a long life span with a high yield of fruit. Foxglove plants require little attention other than regular watering and fertilizing. There are several varieties of foxgloves, but they all produce edible fruits during their lifetime. These fruits are very tasty and nutritious. You may choose to eat them raw or cook them into dishes.
In the winter months, foxgloves need extra protection from frostbite and cold weather. Foxgloves are not native to northern climates, so it is best if you grow these plants in areas where there is no threat of freezing temperatures.
If you live in a warmer climate, then you will want to protect your plants from the harsh summer sun. Foxgloves are very tolerant of heat and humidity. However, they prefer cool conditions when it comes to keeping themselves warm.
The leaves of foxgloves are used medicinally as well as ornamental purposes. The flowers are eaten fresh or dried for use in soups and stews.
The berries can be ground up to make a tea that is good for the digestive system and liver health. A few berries mixed with milk makes a delicious treat known as “marshmallow.” The seeds can also be eaten or used to make oil. The oil has the special property of not melting even at high temperatures. Overharvesting the seeds can lead to extinction of the plant species, so be sure to only gather a few.
In springtime, the plants grow purple flowers that are shaped like a cone. Each flower will produce three black berries.
The plants will continue to produce flowers and berries until the first frost in autumn. During this time, it is important that you begin gathering and storing as many berries and seeds as you can. Always be on the lookout for signs of disease or infestation; foxgloves are very susceptible to pests and mold.
There are many different varieties of foxglove, but they all fall into one of two categories: Digitalis or Dierama. Both types of plants are grown for their ornamental flowers.
The difference is that Dierama varieties produce longer and more flowing pedals, whereas the flowers of a Digitalis plant have a rounded shape.
During the winter, your plant will become dormant. This means that it will lose most of its leaves and stop producing berries and seeds.
During this time, it is important to keep an eye on the soil.
Sources & references used in this article:
An account of the foxglove, and some of its medical uses by W Withering – 2014 – books.google.com
An account of the foxglove and some of its medical uses: with practical remarks on dropsy and other diseases by W Withering – 2019 – books.google.com
Llewellyn’s 2011 Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday Living by …, S Pesznecker, D Rajchel, S Ress, M Skye, R Digitalis… – 2010 – books.google.com
Inbreeding depression and outbreeding depression in Digitalis purpurea: optimal outcrossing distance in a tetraploid by JM Grindeland – Journal of evolutionary biology, 2008 – Wiley Online Library
An account of the foxglove by W Withering – 2018 – books.google.com