Foxglove facts from new book Woodland Wild Flowers

Posted by Lydia Unwin on

Look out in woodlands at this time of year for foxgloves, one of the first wild flowers to colonise newly-felled woodland.

A single plant can produce over 7,000 seeds, which can lie dormant for decades and only bloom when the light reaches them. They flower in their second year onwards.

Its chemicals are dangerously poisonous but can also treat heart failure in the form of digoxin.

The caterpillar of the Foxglove Pug moth selects a foxglove flower and using sticky silk thread it seals the opening and eats the insides until it pupates. Flowers with a resident Foxglove Pug remain on the flower stalk long after others without a caterpillar have died.

This information is from Woodland Wildflowers, Through the Seasons by Alan Waterman. The book will inspire you to take a closer look at the wild flowers that bloom in your local woodland. 

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  • Not so many in our wood now as it regenerates and light levels decline but I am keeping some areas relatively open to increase diversity and in these regions I am still getting foxgloves along with rosebay willow herb and other semi woodland species. Its all running a bit late in the Wye valley this year, no doubt caused by early season weather conditions.

    Alan Waterman on

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