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Digitalis purpurea is a native European woodland plant with spikes of tubular purple flowers with a spotted throat. However its cultivars appear in many guises, some dwarf and others very tall, with flowers in shades of pink, purple white and red, while other species contribute yellow or rusty brown shades to the range. It's a popular biennial for a shady spot and looks fantastic when grown en masse at the back of a border. Its blooms are extremely attractive to bumblebees. Digitalis purpurea self-seeds freely and will quickly naturalise in the garden.
Grow Digitalis purpurea in moist but well-drained soil in sun to shade. Allow plants to seed before cutting back the flowering stem – this may encourage a second flush of blooms to grow.
Plant type: Native perennial
Flower colour: Mixed
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Feature: Flowers, Attractive to wildlife
Sun exposure: Partial shade, Shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Dry, Moist
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant seeds: May to June
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