Digitalis purpurea (Common Foxglove or Purple Foxglove), is a
flowering plant in the family Plantaginaceae (formerly treated in
the family Scrophulariaceae), native to most of Europe.
It is a herbaceous biennial plant. The leaves are spirally arranged,
simple, 10-35 cm long and 5-12 cm broad, grey-green, downy, and with
a finely toothed margin; they form a tight rosette at ground level
in the first year. The flowering stem develops in the second year,
growing to 1-2 m tall. The flowers are arranged in a showy,
terminal, elongated cluster, each tubular, pendent, purple (also
pink, rose, yellow, or white in selected cultivars). They are also
spotted inside bottom of the tube. The fruit is a capsule which
splits open at maturity to release the numerous tiny (0.1-0.2 mm)
Medical use: A plant of the genus Digitalis, which includes the
foxgloves, several species of which are a source of cardioactive
steroid glycosides used in the treatment of certain heart diseases.
2. A pharmaceutical prepared from the seeds and dried leaves of the
purple foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, and prescribed as a cardiac
stimulant in the treatment of congestive heart failure and other
disorders of the heart.