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Foxgloves at Rainford

Friday 23rd June 2017

Common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Walking through the woodland you will see these tall, purple spires scattered throughout. At over 5 foot these wildflowers are visible in the woodland during midsummer. The bell shaped flowers have been compared to fingertips, hence the colloquial names including fairy fingers, ladies’ gloves and dog’s fingers. In fact, the word digitus is Latin for finger.

Fun fact: The foxgloves contain a toxin which slows the heart rate; consumption of two leaves can cause death. Though foxgloves are poisonous they have been used as medicine, the toxins effect of slowing the heart rate which can be advantageous with some disorders.

By Tom Cowley

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