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Annual Biennial

Digitalis purpurea Excelsior Group (Suttons; Unwins)
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

foxglove Excelsior Group

Excelsior Group are tall biennials, with bell-shaped white, pink, cream or purple flowers arranged all round the spike in early summer

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 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 Cream Pink Purple White Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Plantaginaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
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

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in almost any soil,but avoid very wet or very dry situations. Prefers a humus-rich soil in partial shade but will grow in full sun. Deadhead after flowering to avoid problems with excess numbers of seedlings.

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in-situ in late spring. Alternatively sow in seed trays in late spring and plant out to final position in late summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut back after flowering

Pests

Can get aphids and leaf and bud eelworm

Diseases

May be affected by leaf spots and powdery mildews

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