Also called ‘Purple Foxglove’ or Lady’s Glove’, this is a most distinctive plant which can produce up to sixty or more pink to purple tubular flowers on tall spikes. Each flower has a dark ring of spots inside the lower lip which helps attract and guide insects such a bumblebees inside to gather nectar and in turn aid in the flower’s pollination. Sometimes white forms are found. The leaves are large and hairy, forming basal rosettes. The leaves appear in the first year, and in the second year it produces flowers. All parts of this plant are very poisonous to both humans and animals.
It flowers June to September, and is found on heaths, woodland clearings and margins, roadside verges, embankments, hedgerows and sea cliffs, thriving best in acid soils. It seeds and grows freely in gardens where allowed to. A common and widespread species throughout.
May 2012, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012.