Digitalis purpurea


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Key information

Plant type

Native perennial

Flower colour



Flowers, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


Digitalis purpurea

Plant details

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.

Family: Plantaginaceae

Genus: Digitalis

Species: purpurea

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

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 150cm

Spread: 45cm

Time to plant seeds: May to June

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