The Foxglove Story 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 often 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. However, Mertonensis gives us only one color.
Now, the Foxy Hybrids take their places in the foxglove line-up, bringing all the colors back with the biennial issue solved.