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Herbaceous Perennial

Digitalis obscura
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

sunset foxglove

A perennial subshrub with lance-shaped to linear, entirely hairless, grey-green leaves, 8-15cm long. Racemes of rust-brown to yellow or orange-yellow flowers, 2-3cm long with red veins and spotting inside, are produced from late spring to midsummer

Other common names
willow-leaved foxglove

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Brown Orange Yellow Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full shade
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Plantaginaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
Potentially harmful
TOXIC if eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling TOXIC to pets - see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants for further information and useful contact numbers
Genus

Digitalis can be biennials or usually short-lived perennials forming a rosette of simple leaves with bell-shaped flowers in slender, erect, usually one-sided racemes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Spain

How to grow

Cultivation

Will grow in almost any soil or situation except very wet or very dry; ideal site is a sheltered, warm site with humus-rich soil in partial shade. A perennial but often treated as a biennial. See foxglove cultivation for further advice

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame in late spring or propagate by division in early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Coastal
  • Gravel garden
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut back main flower spike as it fades to encourage the growth of flowering side shoots

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids and leaf and bud eelworm

Diseases

May be susceptible to powdery mildews, downy mildews and leaf spot

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