Welcome to WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY Garden Glimpses. Today, I would like to tell you a little about foxgloves, fantastic plants to enhance the looks of a herbaceous border. Their botanical name is Digitalis purpurea. I’m sure you’ll recognise the word, ‘digitalis’ which has to do with a certain heart medicine – Digoxin – extracted from the plants and useful for treating high blood pressure and heart failure symptoms. It is not commonly prescribed, so I’m happy to be acquainted with their spectacular show in the garden rather than their medicinal properties which need very strict control.
Pollinators, especially bees, love them of course, but one has to be right in the midst of them to hear the bees buzzing about! Look carefully, you might just spot one . . .
We enjoy the English countryside very much and out in the wild one sees fields of wild foxgloves with their tall spikes bearing as many as eighty bell-shaped blooms. We saw such a field near Windermere in the Lake District when we took our grandchildren out for a day in the sun.
Some of these have found their way into our garden, thanks to the many birds who drop a few seeds as they visit or fly by. The images in circles are closeups of such wild foxgloves in our garden.
However, a word of caution is necessary. If ingested, the plants can cause stomach pains and dizziness. Toxins can even transfer via small cuts in the skin, so always wear gloves. Their poison affects the heart and if taken in large amounts, could be fatal, according to an article by the Woodland Trust. Nevertheless, I think it is important to help children understand the value of plants and learn how to treat them with respect. When our children were younger, I tried to avoid plants that could make them ill until such a time when they could better understand what to avoid and/or how to handle them.
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