Canary Island Foxglove Digitalis canariensis

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
Canary Island foxglove


Digitalis canariensis, commonly known as the Canary Island Foxglove, is a striking perennial plant known for its ornate and vividly colored flowers. The plant has a bushy appearance with abundant foliage. The leaves are typically dark green, elongated, and textured with a leathery feel, growing in a rosette pattern at the base of the plant and along the stems. The most characteristic feature of the Canary Island Foxglove is its impressive floral display. The flowers bloom in spike-like clusters and are tubular in shape, flaring outward into a bell-like form. Each flower has a rich, orange to reddish-pink hue with a paler throat, often spotted with a deeper color on the inside, creating a stunning visual contrast. This plant's blossoms are not only praised for their aesthetic appeal but are also a magnet for pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds. The flowers are arranged on tall, upright spikes that rise above the foliage, creating a showy display that adds vertical interest to the garden landscape. Adding to its ornamental features, seed pods may appear after the flowering season, carrying small seeds that can propagate the plant. Overall, the Canary Island Foxglove is cherished for its lush foliage and dazzling, fiery-colored floral spikes, making it an attractive addition to any garden with ample space for it to spread its striking foliage and flowers.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Canary Island Foxglove, Isoplexis Canariensis

    • Common names

      Isoplexis canariensis, Digitalis canariensis var. obscura, Digitalis obscura subsp. canariensis, Digitalis canariensis var. genuina

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Canary Island foxglove (Digitalis canariensis) contains cardiac glycosides which are toxic to humans if ingested. These substances can affect the heart by increasing the force of contraction and potentially causing an irregular heartbeat. Symptoms of poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, weakness, a decrease in heart rate, and potentially cardiac arrest resulting from serious disturbances in heart function. Ingestion of any part of the Canary Island foxglove, especially the leaves or seeds, can lead to these toxic reactions and requires medical attention.

    • To pets

      Canary Island foxglove (Digitalis canariensis) is also toxic to pets due to its content of cardiac glycosides. If pets ingest parts of this plant, they may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, cardiac arrhythmias, and possibly seizures. The heart can be seriously affected, and ingestion can be fatal without prompt veterinary care. Immediate attention from a veterinarian is critical if there is any suspicion of ingestion by a pet.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (0.6 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Canary Islands


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental value: Digitalis canariensis, commonly known as Canary Island Foxglove, has striking tubular flowers that add visual interest to gardens and landscapes.
    • Attracts pollinators: The brightly colored flowers are known to attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, promoting pollination in the garden.
    • Drought tolerance: Being native to the Canary Islands, it is adapted to dry conditions and is relatively drought tolerant once established, making it suitable for xeriscaping.
    • Erosion control: The plant can help to stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes due to its robust root system.
    • Versatility: Canary Island Foxglove can be grown in a variety of settings, including borders, flowerbeds, and as a specimen plant.
    • Minimal maintenance: It requires minimal maintenance once established, making it a convenient choice for gardeners of all skill levels.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Cardiac glycoside content: Digitalis canariensis contains cardiac glycosides similar to those found in Digitalis purpurea, which are used to treat certain heart conditions by increasing the force of cardiac contractions and regulating heart rate.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Decorative purposes: As Canary Island foxglove, it's often used in gardens and landscaping for its showy inflorescences, which add a vertical accent and a splash of color.
    • Erosion control: The plant has a robust root system that can help stabilize soils on slopes and prevent erosion.
    • Wildlife attraction: It is known to attract hummingbirds and bees, which are drawn to its tubular flowers for nectar, supporting pollinator populations.
    • Traditional crafts: In some cultures, the long, sturdy flower stalks of Canary Island foxglove may be used in the crafting of small items or as part of floral arrangements.
    • Plant dye source: The flowers and leaves might be used to create a natural dye for fabrics or artwork, although this is not a common use.
    • Photography subject: Photographers may be drawn to Canary Island foxglove for its unique and striking appearance, making it a popular subject for botanical photography.
    • Educational tool: It can be used in educational settings to teach about plant biology, particularly pollination and flower structure.
    • Culinary decoration: While the plant is not edible, its flowers might be used for ornamental purposes in high-end culinary presentations.
    • Bioindicator species: Canary Island foxglove could potentially serve as a bioindicator, with its presence or health indicating the status of the ecosystem it is growing in.
    • Artistic inspiration: Artists may use the plant's form and colors as inspiration for designs, patterns, and other artistic creations.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Canary Island Foxglove is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Canary Island Foxglove is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Healing: Digitalis canariensis, commonly known as the Canary Island Foxglove, contains digitalin used in medicines for heart conditions, symbolizing the power of healing and medicine.
    • Cautious Beauty: While this plant is attractive with its tall spikes of tubular flowers, it is also highly toxic, which represents the balance between beauty and potential danger.
    • Protection: In folklore, foxgloves were believed to have protective properties, keeping away evil spirits, and this extends to Canary Island Foxglove as a symbol of protection for the home and garden.
    • Insincerity: In Victorian flower language, the foxglove was sometimes associated with insincerity due to its poisonous nature, reminding us that not everything beautiful can be trusted.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Canary Island Foxglove prefers consistent moisture and should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Usually, this means watering it approximately once a week, but frequency can vary depending on climate and the plant's environment. It's important to water this plant deeply, so provide enough water to saturate the root zone. For a medium-sized Canary Island Foxglove, use about half a gallon of water each time to ensure thorough hydration, adjusting the amount as the plant grows or during extreme weather conditions.

  • sunLight

    Canary Island Foxglove thrives in partial shade to full sun conditions. It's best placed in a spot that receives morning sunlight and partial shade in the afternoon to protect it from the intense heat of the day. A location that offers dappled sunlight throughout the day is ideal for its growth and flower production.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Canary Island Foxglove is comfortable in a temperature range between 50°F and 70°F, which is ideal for robust growth. It can tolerate minimum temperatures down to about 40°F but should be protected from frost to prevent damage. The maximum temperature it can handle is around 80°F before it may start showing signs of heat stress.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Canary Island Foxglove is vital for maintaining its shape and encouraging new growth. Deadhead spent flowers to promote further blooming and remove any yellowing or damaged leaves to keep the plant healthy. Pruning should be done after the main flowering season but before the plant sets seed to prepare it for the next season's growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Canary Island Foxglove thrives in well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH, from 6.5 to 7.0. A mix of two parts loam, one part peat or coconut coir, and one part perlite or sand would provide the ideal texture and drainage this plant prefers. Regularly enriched compost can be added to ensure fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Canary Island Foxglove should be repotted every 2 to 3 years to replenish the soil and accommodate root growth. It's best done in the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Canary Island Foxglove prefers moderate to high humidity levels but is quite adaptable. Aiming for around 50-60% humidity will provide a comfortable environment for it to thrive.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light and well-draining soil for Canary Island Foxglove.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sunny to part-shaded area with shelter from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      8-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Digitalis canariensis, commonly known as Canary Island Foxglove, begins its life cycle as a seed, often dispersed by wind or animals. Upon germinating in moist, well-drained soil, it develops into a seedling, where it enters a phase of vegetative growth, producing rosettes of lanceolate leaves. As the plant matures, it enters the flowering stage, typically in its second year, producing tall, spike-like inflorescences with tubular, yellow-orange flowers that are attractive to bees and other pollinators. After pollination, these flowers develop into fruit capsules containing numerous small seeds. Once the seeds are mature, the plant completes its reproductive cycle by dispersing the seeds, continuing the lifecycle. Canary Island Foxglove is a biennial or short-lived perennial, so after setting seed, individual plants may die or enter dormancy before potentially regrowing from the rootstock if conditions are favorable.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The Canary Island foxglove, Digitalis canariensis, is most commonly propagated through seed sowing. The ideal time for sowing seeds is in late winter or early spring, when temperatures are mild. To propagate, fill a flat or pots with a moistened, well-draining potting mix and scatter the tiny seeds on the surface. Since these seeds need light to germinate, do not cover them with soil. Instead, gently press them onto the surface to ensure they have good contact with the potting medium. Place the container in a warm spot with indirect light and maintain a consistent moisture level by lightly misting as needed. Seedlings usually emerge in 2-4 weeks at which point they can eventually be transplanted into individual pots.