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Can Foxgloves change colour from year to year?

Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

Might be a silly question, but last year I was so cross that I didn't collect white foxglove seeds from Mum's. This year the solitary foxglove near my patio( have others) is now white, last year it was mauve. Has fairy had her wand out? or do they change colour. It is def' in exact same place and not a new one.


  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    Hmmm. If you're talking about the common foxglove, digitalis purpurea, they are most often biennials, i.e. germinate in one season, flower the next, shed their seed and pass on making way for the next generation.

    I guess it's possible that a baby was growing near the same site last year, and that one has white flowers. 

    All the foxgloves iin my garden are self seeded, and they vary in colour from the common mauve, through pink, cream and white (all on different plants I must say). Some have the excelsior gene from some I sowed yonks ago, so they have flowers all round the flowering stem, not on one side. The bees do their bit pollinating them all, so next years crop is a bit of a mix 'n' match. I can make a pretty good guess as to what colour next year's will be by looking at the petioles - a dusky pink suggest mauve, a paler colour suggests white - but that's not 100% accurate when it comes to flowering time.

    So I'd suggest that a pollinated seed fell from the mother plant last year, which had been pollinated from another plant, grew in pretty much the same place but had a different genetic blueprint. 

    And if you want them to spread around your garden, what I do is leave the flowering stem until seed has set, cut it off and whang it round the garden - in fact, a bit like waving a magic wand.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,305

    That's how I'd see it.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Oakley WitchOakley Witch Posts: 789

    I have just bought some very strange looking foxglove seeds today. They are called 'Milk Chocolate', a slightly dwarfed variety but hoping it will look good.



    See what you thimnk and give me some opinions please image

    Kef, I have some 'Alba' seeds Im sure somewhere, if I can find them, I can send you some???

  • Oakley WitchOakley Witch Posts: 789


     Damn, will get the hang of this soon lol

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Thanks OW for very kind offer, I've now got my own. Must remember to collect them this year image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,305

    that's a nice one, a variation on Dig parviflora. Which reminds me, I need to remove a few nettles and see if I can find parviflora

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Thanks Figrat very informative, Nut & OW. Will be scattering later in the year.image

  • Love foxglove too! I'll try my luck and sow some tomorrow. 

    Found that I should probably plant some foxglove throught this:

  • Foxgloves can come in all shades of purple through to white as in most purple flowers

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