Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Digitalis purpurea

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PlantaginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub, some aquatic. Leaf: basal or cauline, alternate or opposite (whorled), simple, entire to dentate or lobed, venation generally pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, or flowers axillary in 1--few-flowered clusters; flowers few to many, each subtended by 1 bract. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, radial or bilateral; sepals 4--5, generally fused at base; corolla 4--5-lobed, scarious or not, persistent or not, generally 2-lipped, upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower generally 3-lobed, spur present or not, tube sac-like at base or not; stamens 2 or 4, alternate corolla lobes, epipetalous, staminode 0 or 1--2, anthers opening by 2 slits; ovary superior, [1]2--4-chambered, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: generally a capsule, septicidal, loculicidal, circumscissile, or dehiscing by terminal slits or pores.
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 2000 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al. Recently treated to include Callitrichaceae, Hippuridaceae, and most non-parasitic California genera of Scrophulariaceae (except Buddleja, Limosella, Mimulus, Myoporum, Scrophularia, Verbascum). California Maurandya moved to Holmgrenanthe and Maurandella. Limnophila ×ludoviciana Thieret an occasional agricultural weed in rice fields. Hebe ×franciscana (Eastw.) Souster, Hebe speciosa (R. Cunn.) Andersen only cultivated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: DigitalisView Description 

Common Name: FOXGLOVE
Habit: Biennial, perennial herb. Stem: erect. Leaf: basal, in rosette, and cauline, alternate. Inflorescence: raceme, 1-sided, bracted. Flower: nodding; calyx deeply 5-lobed; corolla +- bilateral, long-bell-shaped, generally pink or white, lower 3 lobes forming prominent lip; stamens 4, in 2 pairs, included; stigma lobes 2, flat. Fruit: generally loculicidal.
Species In Genus: +- 25 species: Europe (especially Mediterranean), western and central Asia. Etymology: (Latin: finger, from corolla shape) Note: Some cultivated as ornamental or as source of the cardiac glycoside digitalis, a medically important heart stimulant.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Margriet Wetherwax

Digitalis purpurea L.
Habit: Generally biennial. Stem: < 18 dm, simple, gray-tomentose and glandular, especially distally. Leaf: 10--30 cm; petiole winged; blade lanceolate to ovate, crenate to dentate, adaxially green and soft-hairy, abaxially gray-tomentose. Inflorescence: flowers many; pedicel 6--25 mm, tomentose. Flower: calyx lobes < 18 mm, lanceolate to ovate; corolla 40--60 mm, white to pink-purple with darker spots on lower inside surface, lobes ciliate, sparsely long-hairy inside; stamens, style included. Fruit: +- 12 mm, ovoid. Seed: many, +- 0.5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=56.
Ecology: Acid soil in open woodland, disturbed areas; Elevation: < 1700 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, KR, NCoRO, n&c SN, s SNH, CCo, SnFrB, WTR, PR; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia; native to western Europe, northwestern Africa. Toxicity: All parts TOXIC to humans and livestock. Flowering Time: May--Jul
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Margriet Wetherwax
Jepson Online Interchange
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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botanical illustration including Digitalis purpurea


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Margriet Wetherwax 2016. Digitalis purpurea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Digitalis purpurea
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© 2009 Barry Rice
Digitalis purpurea
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Digitalis purpurea
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Digitalis purpurea
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© 2014 California Academy of Sciences
Digitalis purpurea
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Digitalis purpurea
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© 2009 Barry Rice

More photos of Digitalis purpurea in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Digitalis purpurea:
NCo, KR, NCoRO, n&c SN, s SNH, CCo, SnFrB, WTR, PR;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.