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Why do they call it "foxglove"?

Why do they call it
Photo Information
Copyright: Tim Epp (BillyGoat) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 28 N: 899] (4827)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-11
Categories: Flowers
Camera: OLYMPUS E-500, Zuiko 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5, Cokin P 101 +1 Close-up lens
Exposure: f/4.2, 1/50 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-06-12 22:26
Viewed: 3716
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Foxglove is a beautiful plant that grows up to six feet and produces trumpet-shaped flowers that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Blooms can be hues of lavender, pink, purple, red, white, yellow and variegated.
The scientific name "Digitalis purpurea" means "finger-like", and refers to the ease which a flower of can be fitted over a human fingertip.
Depending on the species, the digitalis plant may contain several deadly physiological and chemically related cardiac and steroidal glycosides. Thus, the digitalis has earned several more sinister monikers: "Dead Manís Bells", and "Witchesí Gloves".

The entire plant is a poison (including the roots and seeds), although the leaves of the upper stem are particularly potent, with just a nibble being enough to potentially cause death. Early symptoms of ingestion include nausea, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, abdominal pain, wild hallucinations, delirium, and severe headache. Depending on the severity of the toxicosis the victim may later suffer irregular and slow pulse, tremors, various cerebral disturbances, especially of a visual nature (unusual color visions with objects appearing yellowish to green, and blue halos around lights), convulsions, and deadly disturbances of the heart.
Digitalis was the poison that caused James Bond to nearly die from cardiac arrest in the 2006 movie Casino Royale.

Foxglove Folklore:

Foxglove was used for working magic, for protection, and communicating with fairies, elves, and woodland spirits. It had many names; lion's mouth, fairy caps, folk's glove, and witches thimbles. In France, it is known as gant de notre dame, or our lady's glove.
In Roman mythology, when Minerva sprang from Jupiter's thigh, his wife Juno visited Flora, the Goddess of fields, crops, & flowers. Juno was distraught, saying "If my husband can bring forth a child without need of me, why can I not bring forth a child without need of him?" Flora whispered, "If I reveal to you another way, you must never tell your husband." Flora placed a foxglove blossom on her thumb & touched Juno's stomach, then her breasts, & instantly Juno conceived. She went from Flora's garden to the shoreline and gave birth to Mars, who was fatherless just as Minerva had been motherless.

So why "foxglove", you ask?

In Scandinavia, they say that foxes were saved by the fairies from extinction when the fairies gave them the secret of how to ring the foxglove bells to warn other foxes of approaching hunters. The foxes were also known to put on these flower gloves so that they so that they would tread more softly among the chicken roosts to capture an unsuspecting hen or rooster.

bobair, SunToucher, angybone, eqshannon, Adanac, Perro has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-06-12 22:53]

Hi Tim,
Great rich colors, excellent details, perfect DOF and a nice composition! Informative note. The honey bee really likes this flower. The lip on the tip of the bloom is a perfect landing platform and, from there, they make their way up the bell to the sweets. You may enjoy my foxglove post.

Hi Tim,
this is a superb looking shot of these lovely but deadly flowers.I think I will not even consider even touching them as your note makes them sound so dangerous.You have great colour and detail in this well focused shot and I thank you for sharing it with us. Bob

Hi Tim,
We've got them in my coutry as well. But mostly the purple and white ones. I actually have an almost simular photo ready to be uploaded soon. Yours got wonderful details and color. With a perfect DOF and a wonderful dark colored BG.

I love those stories.
Beautiful color and great composition. Rich clear close-up!

Most useful and humorous notes my friend. One of my mothers favorite flowers I must add. And when it came to anything in the nature world, my parents were eggs-perts. Mom knew Latin names off the top of her head and would critique each flower and fauna with gentle kind words of affection.

A very attractive shot. I just know mom would have been stopped in her tracks on this picture...Wonderful.

Bob Northwest Wilderness

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-06-14 13:31]

Hello Tim

A beautiful capture of this digitalis,the image is well composed,focused and presented.The colours are vivid and outstanding.The notes were very interesting.Well done all round.


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-06-20 9:38]

Hello Tom,
Great capture, great note. I love the looks of this plant that I have seen many times before. I always try to shot to much of this plant when I shot it, your image is fantastic, thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Perro Silver Star Critiquer [C: 41 W: 0 N: 59] (553)
  • [2007-06-21 21:51]

Hello Tim,
This is a superb shot of these lovely flowers.
Great rich colors, excellent details, perfect DOF.
It's very interesting to see the details into the bells.
Your note are very informative.
Well done Tim!
Thank you for sharing!
Mes salutations,

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