The Shirley mixed is an old cultivar, over 100 years old, producing tall rosettes in a selection of colours: pale yellows, pinks, & deep plum shades with speckles.
The foxglove is a very ornamental plant that is easily naturalized in the semi-shade of a woodland.
The flowers are very attractive to bees.
This species is commonly used by herbalists, whereas D. lanata is more commonly grown for supplying the pharmaceutical industry.
A good companion plant, it stimulates the growth of nearby plants, growing well with pine trees.
An infusion of the plant prolongs the life of cut flowers. Root crops growing near this plant store better.
An apple-green dye is obtained from the flowers.
Plants are hardy to about -25°c.
Warning: All parts of the plant are highly poisonous.
Easily grown in ordinary garden soil, especially if it is rich in organic matter. Prefers a light dry soil in semi-shade but succeeds in full sun if the soil is moist. Grows well in acid soils.
Surface sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 4 weeks at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ in the spring or autumn.