Foxglove

Digitalis purpurea
Family: Scrophulariaceae

Growth Habit: Foxglove is a hardy plant which can grow up to 2m in height.

Type of Plant: A biennial plant which produces a large, leafy rosette in its first year, then a characteristic flowering spike the second year.

Flowers: The flowers are a tubular bell shaped which cluster at the top of the stem. Foxglove flowers come in a variety of mottled colours including white, yellow, purple or pink. These usually hang to one side of the spike. Flowering occurs over a long period from spring to autumn.

Fruit/Seed: Millions of small dark seeds are produced from each plant.

Dispersal: Foxglove reproduces from seed and wind or water can transport these.

Distribution: A garden escape which can be found growing naturally in many parts of Tasmania, particularly in damp and shady places.

Status: Undeclared in Tasmania.

Weed Impact:

  • Foxglove is extremely poisonous. All plant parts must be handled with extreme care.
  • Foxglove is able to rapidly spread and totally exclude native flora and fauna.

For further information contact the Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment, Tasmania.

Control Methods:

  • Grubbing (summer, spring and autumn). Hoe in young plants and remove older plants. Collect and dispose of flowers and seeds. Wear gloves, as the entire plant is poisonous.
  • Herbicide (summer, spring and autumn). Glyphosate is registered in Tasmania for foxglove use.

N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.