The very important Wild Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea
is a native of the UK, naturalized in the US, and famous for being used for Digitalis, the life-saving heart medicine. However, Wild Foxglove is a biennial which makes it undependable in perennial plantings. But since the twenties, there have been beautiful perennial foxgloves too, a little shorter, but just as beautiful as the towering purpureas.
The great breakthrough came when a cross was accomplished in Merton, England in 1928 between the famous biennial wildflower and the perennial species, Digitalis grandiflora. The perennial foxglove has ever since been called Digitalis mertonensis, named after the town.
Perennial expert, Alan Armitage says, This is one of my favorite plants, and that's quite an endorsement. Perennial foxgloves have rosy-colored flowers, rather than the purple of the biennial. Many people call them strawberry red. Mr Armitage calls the color coppery-rose, and says passers-by never fail to notice the beautiful spires of bloom.