Foxglove Digitalis purpurea 'Primrose Carousel' (Carousel Series)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
foxglove 'Primrose Carousel'


The plant in question, often referred to as Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel', is renowned for its striking appearance that draws the eye in any garden setting. This particular variety stands out with its series of bell-shaped flowers which cascade down the stem in a fashion reminiscent of a fairy-tale carousel. These flowers possess a delicate, soft primrose-yellow hue, setting them apart from the common pink or purple foxgloves typically encountered. The throat of each flower is beautifully spotted, adding further dimension and character to the overall visual display. Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' is characterized by its robust stalks that hold the blooms upright, presenting them in a stately and organized array. The foliage of this variety forms a basal rosette of deep green, lance-shaped leaves that are slightly fuzzy to the touch. The texture and verdant color of the leaves make an excellent backdrop for the pale yellow flowers, enhancing their visual impact. The arrangement of the flowers along the stem is dense and opulent, providing an extended period of blooming splendor. In essence, Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' is a noteworthy ornamental plant with its distinctive pastel blossoms and attractive foliage, making it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add a touch of elegance and fairy-tale charm to their landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Common Foxglove, Purple Foxglove, Lady's Glove, Fairy Gloves, Finger Flower.

    • Common names

      Digitalis purpurea 'Primrose Carousel'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The common name of Digitalis purpurea 'Primrose Carousel' (Carousel Series) is Foxglove. Foxgloves are highly toxic to humans if ingested. All parts of the plant contain potent cardiac glycosides that can cause serious poisoning. Symptoms of foxglove poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, weakness, skin rash, and dilated pupils. At higher doses, it can lead to cardiac effects such as disturbances in heart rhythm that can be life-threatening. It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention if ingestion is suspected.

    • To pets

      Foxglove is also highly toxic to pets, including dogs and cats. The plant contains cardiac glycosides, which are dangerous if any part of the plant is ingested. Symptoms of foxglove poisoning in pets can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cardiac abnormalities such as arrhythmias, weakness, and possibly seizures or collapse. Due to its potential severity, foxglove ingestion by a pet should be treated as an emergency and veterinary assistance should be sought immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (0.3-0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts pollinators: Digitalis purpurea is known for attracting bees and hummingbirds, which are essential for the pollination of many plants.
    • Aesthetic appeal: The 'Primrose Carousel' variant adds a splash of color with its unique and attractive creamy-yellow flowers, enhancing garden aesthetics.
    • Vertical interest: With its tall flower spikes, it adds vertical dimension to garden beds, borders, and landscapes.
    • Cottage garden charm: It's commonly used in cottage garden design schemes for a classic and romantic garden look.
    • Wildlife habitat: It provides shelter and food for various insects besides pollinators, supporting local biodiversity.
    • Easy to grow: This plant is relatively easy to cultivate and can thrive in a variety of soil conditions with partial to full sun exposure.
    • Self-seeding: Digitalis purpurea can self-seed under optimal conditions, offering a naturalized planting scheme over time.
    • Seasonal interest: It blooms in late spring to early summer, providing color and interest during this season.
    • Mixed plantings: Works well in mixed herbaceous borders alongside other perennials and annuals.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Cardiac glycoside content: Digitalis purpurea contains naturally occurring compounds known as cardiac glycosides, particularly digitoxin and digoxin. These substances can have a beneficial effect on the heart, increasing the force of myocardial contractions and can be used in the treatment of certain heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation and heart failure.
    • Positive inotropic effect: The plant’s glycosides can enhance the contractility of the heart muscle, leading to an increased cardiac output.
    • Neurohormonal modulation: The compounds in Digitalis purpurea can modulate the neurohormonal systems that are often activated in heart failure, such as the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).
    Please note that the therapeutic use of Digitalis species requires precise dosing and medical supervision due to its narrow therapeutic index and potential for toxicity. The plant is not recommended for self-medication.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography Subject: Due to its unique primrose-colored flowers, Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' is often used by photographers as a captivating subject in garden and flower photography, benefiting from the spikes of bell-shaped flowers that create an enchanting visual.
    • Educational Tool: Botany educators sometimes use the Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' to demonstrate to students the variety in flower morphology and pollination strategies associated with its distinct tubular flowers.
    • Dye Production: The flowers of the Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' can be used to produce a light greenish-yellow dye for coloring fabrics, wool, or even in the craft of natural dye-making.
    • Garden Design: Landscape architects might utilize the Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' in sensory gardens due to its striking color and tall, statuesque form, which add both visual and textural interest.
    • Companion Planting: The Foxglove can be planted in combination with other perennials and bulbs to help create a diverse ecosystem that promotes beneficial insects and increases biodiversity within the garden.
    • Musical Inspiration: Musicians and composers might be inspired by the beauty of the Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' to feature it in songs or compositions, or to use its image on album covers and related art works.
    • Floral Language Communication: In the Victorian language of flowers, Foxglove symbolizes insincerity; thus, the 'Primrose Carousel' variant could be used in a floral arrangement to communicate a nuanced message in a historical context.
    • Creative Writing Prompts: Writers and poets may use the visual splendor and the lifecycle of the Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' as prompts or metaphors for crafting stories, poems, or as symbolizing the ephemerality of life.
    • Fairy Gardens: The towering stems and bell-shaped blooms of the Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' are ideal for creating magical fairy garden scenes, often associated with being a favorite hiding spot for fairies in folklore.
    • Still Life Art: Artists can incorporate the Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' into still life paintings or drawings, taking advantage of the plant's structure and colors to add depth and interest to their compositions.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Foxglove is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Foxglove is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Healing: Digitalis purpurea, commonly known as Foxglove, contains digitalin which is used in heart medications, symbolizing its role in healing and medicinal properties.
    • Protection: Foxgloves are often associated with fairy folklore, believed to protect against negative forces and provide a safe haven for fairies.
    • Inspiration: The beauty and towering presence of the Foxglove inspire artists and writers, symbolizing creativity and imagination.
    • Insincerity: In the Victorian language of flowers, Foxglove is sometimes associated with insincerity due to its toxic nature if ingested.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not required
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' likes moist soil, so it's best to water once the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. During the growing season, this may mean watering about once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions. Use a watering can to apply water directly to the soil at the base of the plant, avoiding wetting the foliage, which can encourage disease. A reasonable amount for an established plant might be about 1 gallon per week, ensuring that the water penetrates deeply to encourage root growth.

  • sunLight

    Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' thrives in partial shade, enjoying some sunshine but also appreciating protection from the intense heat of the afternoon sun. The ideal spot for this plant would be an area that receives morning sunlight and dappled shade during the afternoon, such as under the canopy of a deciduous tree. Avoid placing it in deep shade, as this can result in poor flowering and a leggy plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' can handle a range of temperatures and is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8. It flourishes when daytime temperatures are between 60°F and 75°F but can withstand temperatures down to -20°F once established. Extreme heat above 90°F may stress the plant, so during hot summer days, some shade is beneficial.

  • scissorsPruning

    Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' benefits from pruning to remove spent flower spikes after blooming, as this encourages a second flush of flowers and prevents self-seeding if not desired. Pruning can be done immediately after the first flowering is over, usually in midsummer. Cutting back foliage in the fall helps to maintain plant health by removing any diseased or dead material.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Foxgloves prefer a well-drained soil rich in organic matter with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. A mix of loam, peat or compost, and sand in equal proportions would create an ideal growing medium for Digitalis purpurea 'Primrose Carousel'. Regularly adding organic matter will help maintain soil health and structure.

  • plantRepotting

    Foxgloves are biennial or short-lived perennials and do not typically require frequent repotting. Digitalis purpurea 'Primrose Carousel' should be repotted if it outgrows its container or the soil becomes exhausted, roughly every 2 to 3 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Foxgloves prefer moderate humidity levels and can tolerate the humidity found in most temperate outdoor environments. They do not have high humidity requirements, making them versatile in a range of outdoor conditions without specific humidity adjustments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light, keep soil moist not wet.

    • Outdoor

      Choose partial shade, well-draining soil; water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of Foxglove 'Primrose Carousel' begins with seed germination, which typically occurs in late spring to early summer under conditions of moist soil and partial shade. The seedlings develop into a rosette of leaves during the first year, focusing on vegetative growth. In its second year, the plant initiates its reproductive phase, forming a tall spike laden with bell-shaped, yellowish flowers that attract pollinators such as bees. After pollination, the flowers produce small capsule-like fruits containing numerous seeds. Once the seeds are dispersed, the parent plant typically dies, completing its biennial life cycle. However, under favorable conditions, some plants may persist and behave as short-lived perennials, possibly blooming for a few subsequent years before dying.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating Digitalis purpurea 'Primrose Carousel' is by seed. This foxglove variety can be sown directly into the ground in the spring or early fall when the soil temperature is cool. For a head start, seeds can be started indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last expected frost date. They need light to germinate, so simply press the seeds into the soil surface and keep them moist. After seedlings have developed a couple of true leaves and the danger of frost has passed, they can be transplanted outdoors spaced about 18 inches (approximately 45 centimeters) apart to allow for full growth. It's important not to cover the seeds with soil and to maintain consistent moisture without overwatering during the germination period.