Common foxglove flowers form on tall spikes and are shaped like fingers cut off a glove, which explains their scientific name Digitalis, meaning “finger-like.” Once the flowers fade and drop off, small green seed pods form that later turn brownish and open to release the tiny, tiny black seeds.
Foxgloves are biennials, which means that seeds are planted outside in the spring and the resulting seedlings are transplanted sometime before fall. These plants will flower the following year. Foxgloves like moist soil and shade and they are an exceptionally easy plant to grow as long as the soil doesn’t become too dry.
All of my large foxgloves are plants I have started from seed I collected over the years. I started with seeds from a foxglove with very deep pink flowers and continued collecting seed from offspring of that original plant. I now have huge numbers of foxgloves in various shades of pink, rose, white, and a very pale yellow.
Wherever you see foxglove flowers you will also see lots of visiting bees… today there is a constant buzzing sound in the area where my foxgloves are blooming. I guess that explains why so many of my foxglove photographs have bees in them!
I also have a bed of miniature yellow foxgloves that I started from purchased seed. They have tiny, soft yellow flowers with pointed edges (see photo above with bee). Although these little foxgloves aren’t as showy as the larger ones, they make a lovely subdued display, and best of all, these miniature foxgloves are a true perennial and the same plants come back year after year. These perennial foxgloves also are easy to propagate from seed.