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Common Name: Yellow Foxglove
Digitalis lutea is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
All parts of the plant are poisonous[
]. The plant is less dangerous that the common foxglove (D. purpurea) since its effects are not cumulative[
Woodlands, hedgerows and uncultivated fields on siliceous soils[
An easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil, especially if it is rich in organic matter[
]. It also succeeds in dry soils and, once established, is drought tolerant[
]. It prefers semi-shade but succeeds in full sun if the soil is moist[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[
The yellow foxglove is a good companion plant, stimulating the growth of nearby plants[
]. Root crops grown near to this plant will store better[
Yellow foxglove is little used in herbal medicine but is in fact a less toxic alternative to the purple and woolly foxgloves (D. purpurea and D. lanata) which are widely used in the treatment of heart complaints[
]. The yellow foxglove has similar medical actions, but its alkaloids are more readily metabolized and flushed out of the body[
The leaves are cardiac, strongly diuretic, stimulant and tonic[
]. They are used in the treatment of a weakened or failing heart, increasing the strength of contraction, slowing and steadying the heart rate and lowering blood pressure by strongly stimulating the flow of urine - which reduces overall blood volume[
]. The leaves of plants in their second year of growth are harvested in the summer and dried for later use[
]. This remedy should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can prove fatal[
]. See also the notes above on toxicity.
An infusion of the plant added to the water in the vase will prolong the life of cut flowers[
]. When grown near root crops the roots will store better[
Seed - surface sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 4 weeks at 20°c[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.