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Herbaceous Perennial

Digitalis parviflora Jacq.
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

small-flowered foxglove

D. parviflora is a slender perennial to 60cm tall, with downy, lance-shaped leaves in a basal rosette, and tubular, brownish-red flowers 2cm long, with darker veining, in early summer

Synonyms
Digitalis kishinskyi

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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 Red Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full shade
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

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

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Plantaginaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Highly toxic by ingestion. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
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
N. Spain

How to grow

Cultivation

Will grow in almost any soil or situation except very wet or very dry; ideal site is a humus-rich soil in partial shade. A perennial but often treated as a biennial.

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
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

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

Pests

Can get aphids and leaf and bud eelworm

Diseases

May be affected by leaf spots and powdery mildews

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