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Annual Biennial

Digitalis purpurea (Gloxinioides Group) 'The Shirley'
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

foxglove 'The Shirley'

'The Shirley' is a stiffly erect biennial with large, hairy leaves and tall spires of horizontal, open bell-shaped flowers in pink shades, with dark purple speckling within

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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 Purple Pink Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or North–facing or West–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 moist conditions in partial shade. Deadhead after flowering to avoid problems with numerous 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
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildflower meadow
  • 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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