Foxglove is native to western and southwestern Europe western and central Asia and northwestern Africa. The flowers vary in colour with species from purple to pink white and yellow. The scientific name Digitalis means "finger-like" and refers to the ease with which a flower can be fitted over a human fingertip.
Foxgloves have both positive and negative connotations. They are said to both heal and hurt and in the language of flowers they are often associated with insincerity. In folklore it was said that picking a foxglove would offend fairies. This was likely a tale told to children to protect them as these species of plant are toxic to both humans and animals if eaten.
The entire foxglove plant is toxic. This includes the sap roots leaves seeds and flowers. The leaves of the upper stem in particular are particularly poisonous with just a small amount being enough to cause death.
Ingesting 0.5 grams of dried foxglove or two grams of fresh leaf is enough to kill a person. In fact inhaling the pollen alone can cause an allergic reaction.
Asides from humans the plant is also harmful to animals including livestock and household pets such as cats and dogs. As a result it’s best not to have foxglove in your garden if it’s likely to be frequented by animals or children. A beautiful fragile looking flower with such strong power.