A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Latourell Falls Trail, Columbia Gorge, OR, 8/2013.

Latourell Falls Trail, Columbia Gorge, OR, 8/2013.

This showy, European import is prevalent in low-elevation roadsides and disturbed areas in the western halves of Oregon, Washington and California, as well a a smattering of western, and east-coast locations.

Some foxglove facts from Elizabeth Horn (Coastal Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest):

  • It is a biennial;  it lives for two years, only flowering in the second.
  • It was brought over by early settlers, either for their gardens, or as a medicinal plant.
  • During WWI, it was gathered in Oregon and Washington to make digitalis, a drug used to treat heart ailments.  The drug is now made synthetically.
  • It is poisonous to livestock, and  hence a nuisance to farmers when it invades their pastureland.

Although the flowers are normally pinkish purple, mutant white ones are not uncommon (see photo below).

Along the road to the Grouse Ridge Trailhead (South of Silver Star Mountain), WA, 6/2014.

Along the road to the Grouse Ridge Trailhead (South of Silver Star Mountain), WA, 6/2014.

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