Digitalis ferruginea

rusty foxglove

Outstanding Qualities

Digitalis ferruginea is an unusual variation on the common foxglove and looks lovely in a semi-shady corner of the garden. It is tall and slender with rich green basal foliage. Rusty Foxglove produces elegant spires of golden-brown tubular flowers in midsummer. Digitalis ferruginea is a short-lived perennial but does seed about gently so you won't lose the plant. It looks great planted with hardy geraniums, grasses and eryngium in a mixed border. This species attracts bees and hummingbirds, is good as a cut flower, is drought tolerant once established, is long blooming and slug resistant. It should also be noted that all parts of this plant are poisonous.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: blue, pink

Great Color Partners: gold, dark green, burgundy

Culture Notes

This perennial foxglove grows best in well-drained soil, but will tolerate sandy sites and clay. Plant it in full sun to light or open shade. Once established it is drought tolerant, but appreciates occasional watering. After flowering the faded stems can be left to allow seeds to spread or it can be cut to the ground, allowing the basal rosette of foliage to develop.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 4 ft. 0 in. (1.22 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 6 in. (0.46 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Flower Color: brown

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established or occasional watering to keep fresh looking