Common Foxglove

Scientific name: Digitalis purpurea

Fact Box:

  • Order: Lamiales
  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • Genus: Digitalis
  • Species: D. purpurea

We’re back with our latest installment of wildflowers, this time from our trip to Oregon! Within the forest, amongst the grasses, and by the creek near the Buddha Root Farm retreat site, we discovered numerous types of trees and flowers that we would love to share with you. The first of the Buddha Root Farm series is the common foxglove, a conspicuous and poisonous flower.


Drive along the winding mountain roads of Oregon, and you will glimpse the gorgeous magenta flowers of the common foxglove. It has bright, bell-like flowers — usually pink, purple, or white — that droop from a tall, fuzzy, green stem. Each flower carries dark spots in its trumpet-shaped mouth. This wildflower, though widespread in the Pacific Northwest, is native to Europe. Because the flowers look like they could fit on a fox’s paws, they were called foxgloves. The scientific name digitalis is Latin for fingers.


If you have sensitive skin, don’t touch the leaves or flowers of the foxglove. The whole plant is toxic, and coming into contact with it may give you a rash. However, the foxglove is popularly used in heart medicine, such as a treatment for angina, because it can increase or decrease heart rate and strengthen the heart. Just don’t use it for self-medication!

Wild flowers, blooming by the roadside.
Flowers dangling by spider web threads.
Wild white foxglove, surrounded by blackberry bushes in the Oregon woods.