Approximately 50 Seeds
Digitalis Ferruginea is an interesting and exotic looking foxglove and a native of the northern Mediterranean. Its elegant spires arise from a rosette of dark green leaves, followed by closely packed, golden blooms, which are 3.5cm long. Each orchid like flower has an interior of rich red to dark brown veins, with fine soft hairs on the tips. The species name Ferruginous, is taken from the latin ferrum meaning Iron, hence the common name of Rusty Foxglove!
This unusual variation will add height to a shady corner of the garden and looks lovely dotted among ferns or other woodland plants at the back of a border. Considered a robust biennial or short-lived perennial, given the right conditions it will perpetuate by self-seeding. The blooms are very attractive to bees.
Digitalis ferruginea has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
SITE: full sun, part shade
FLOWERING MONTHS: May to July the year after sowing
SOW INDOORS: March to May
SOW OUTDOORS: April to July or September to November
CARE TIPS: They self seed freely but some will revert to the wild colour form. Pull out any seedlings with red stems if you want them to remain pure. On occasion they may need staking. Remove the first flower spike early to encourage more 'prince' flowers from the base. Be aware that all parts of the plant are highly toxic if ingested.
Lightly press the seed onto the surface of a well-watered seed compost in mid to late spring and keep in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, pot on into individual cells and once they have developed a decent basal rosette of foliage they can be hardened off before planting out. After flowering, cut the spikes back hard, as this may encourage a second, smaller flush. These plants will usually flower in their second year.