Common Name: mullein foxglove
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Raspberry-rose
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, organically rich, acidic soils. Soil should not be allowed to dry out. This foxglove cultivar is a perennial. It may self-seed in the garden, but new plants reportedly do not come true from seed. The spent flower spikes can rapidly become quite unsightly as the seed develops and many gardeners choose to remove most or all of the spent spikes immediately after bloom.
Although similar to D. purpurea in general appearance, D. thapsi plants are more compact, have foliage covered with yellowish, glandular hairs and are perennial. ‘Spanish Peaks’ is a compact foxglove that is noted for its pendulous, funnel-shaped, raspberry-rose flowers that are borne in terminal racemes atop flower stalks rising to 24” tall from the center of basal rosettes of downy, ovate-lanceolate to oblong, medium green leaves. Flowers bloom from late spring to early summer. Individual flowers resemble the snipped-off fingers of a glove, hence the common name. The leaves of plants in the genus Digitalis are highly poisonous. The drug digitalis has been primarily derived from the leaves of D. purpurea or D. lanata. Plant juices may cause allergic skin reactions.
No serious insect or disease problems. Powdery mildew and leaf spot, if left untreated, can depreciate foliage considerably by early to mid-summer. Dense crowns may rot in soggy, poorly-drained winter soils. Potential insect pests include aphids, mealy bugs, slugs and Japanese beetle.
Flower spires provide colorful displays for borders, cottage gardens or open woodland gardens, and are particularly effective in front of dark backgrounds such as provided by shrubs or buildings.