Smallflower Foxglove Digitalis parviflora Jacq.

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
small-flowered foxglove


Digitalis parviflora, commonly known as the small-flowered foxglove, is a beautiful and intriguing plant. It is known for its distinctive flower spikes that are densely packed with tubular flowers that give it a striking appearance. The flowers are generally a deep chocolate-brown to a reddish-brown color with the inside surfaces dusted with delicate, lighter specks. This rich coloring contrasts sharply with the typical pink or purple shades commonly associated with its relatives. The leaves of the small-flowered foxglove form a low rosette at the base of the plant, out of which the flower spike emerges. These leaves are simple, oblong, and slightly furry to the touch with a grey-green color that can have a silvery sheen under sunlight. They are arranged in a spiral around the stem which enhances the plant’s decorative look. It is these aesthetically pleasing qualities of Digitalis parviflora that make it a sought-after addition to gardens for those looking for something that presents both visual interest and a touch of the exotic. The rich colors and the elegant structure of the flower spikes offer a majestic display when the plant is in bloom, which can be a captivating sight in any garden setting.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Small-Flowered Foxglove, Smallflower Foxglove.

    • Common names

      Digitalis ambigua Murray, Digitalis toletana Font Quer & Rothm.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Digitalis parviflora, commonly known as Foxglove, is highly toxic to humans if ingested. All parts of the plant contain cardiac glycosides, which can cause severe poisoning. Symptoms of Foxglove poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, abdominal pain, dizziness, confusion, weakness, changes in vision, and cardiac disturbances. The most severe consequence of ingesting Foxglove is its effect on the heart, potentially causing irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), which can be life-threatening and lead to cardiac arrest.

    • To pets

      Foxglove is also toxic to pets, including dogs and cats. If a pet ingests any part of the Foxglove plant, they may exhibit symptoms similar to those experienced by humans such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, cardiac arrhythmias, and even seizures. In severe cases, ingestion of Foxglove can lead to heart failure or death in pets. Immediate veterinary attention is crucial if poisoning is suspected.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental value: Digitalis parviflora, commonly known as the small-flowered foxglove, is often used in gardening for its attractive, tall spikes of reddish-brown flowers, adding visual interest to borders and wildflower gardens.
    • Habitat for wildlife: It provides a food source and habitat for pollinators like bees and hummingbirds, contributing to biodiversity.
    • Drought tolerance: Small-flowered foxglove is known for its ability to tolerate periods of low water, making it suitable for xeriscaping and dry gardens.
    • Ease of care: This plant is known for being low maintenance, requiring minimal care once established, which can be appealing for novice gardeners or those with limited time.
    • Seasonal interest: With its late spring to early summer bloom time, it adds seasonal interest to gardens when many other plants may not be flowering.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Cardiac glycosides: Digitalis parviflora contains cardiac glycosides that can affect heart function.
    • Heart failure treatment: The cardiac glycosides may be utilized in a controlled manner, under prescription, to treat some heart conditions such as congestive heart failure and arrhythmias.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Digitalis parviflora, commonly known as the "Small-flowered foxglove," can be used as a natural dye, providing varying shades of green depending on the mordant used.
    • In cottage gardens, the plant adds an element of vertical interest due to its tall, slender spikes of flowers.
    • Small-flowered foxglove's textured leaves are sometimes utilized in crafting, adding naturalistic elements to various art projects.
    • The dried flowers can be incorporated into potpourri mixes to contribute to their aesthetic variety.
    • Photographers and painters may employ the plant as a subject or backdrop in their work to evoke a sense of wildness or to add depth to a natural scene.
    • Educationally, Small-flowered foxglove serves as a good example for botany students to learn about plant growth habits, structure, and the unique characteristics of the Plantaginaceae family.
    • In garden design, Digitalis parviflora is effective in creating textural contrasts when paired with broad-leaved plants in perennial borders.
    • During historical times, the flowers were sometimes used for ornamental purposes in ceremonies or as a decoration in domestic settings.
    • Small-flowered foxglove is sometimes planted in wildlife gardens to attract pollinators such as bees.
    • Florists may use the spikes of Small-flowered foxgloves in fresh or dried floral arrangements to add height and a touch of wilderness.

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: The Digitalis parviflora Jacq., commonly known as the Foxglove, has been used in traditional medicine to create heart medications, symbolizing the power to heal physically.
    • Toxicity: Foxglove is highly toxic if ingested, symbolizing danger and the importance of caution.
    • Protection: In folklore, Foxgloves were believed to repel evil spirits, symbolizing protection against negative forces.
    • Intrigue: With its striking appearance and bell-shaped flowers, the Foxglove symbolizes fascination and mystery.
    • Insincerity: Victorian flower language assigned the Foxglove a symbol of insincerity or a false sense of security due to its poisonous nature.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 1-2 years
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Small-flowered Foxglove should be watered deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings to prevent waterlogging and root rot. As a general guideline, providing about 1 inch of water once a week during the active growing season should suffice. However, this may vary depending on climate, soil type, and weather conditions. In hot, dry periods, you may need to water more frequently, whereas in cooler, moist conditions, you can water less often. Overhead watering should be avoided to prevent leaf diseases; it's better to water at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry.

  • sunLight

    The Small-flowered Foxglove thrives in partial to full sunlight. It prefers a spot that receives morning sunlight and is protected from the harsh afternoon sun, which can be especially important in hotter climates. An ideal location would provide about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day, but the plant can also manage with dappled shade, particularly in the hottest part of the day.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Small-flowered Foxglove is hardy and adaptable, but it grows best in temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to about 40°F, and the plant can handle occasional dips below freezing. However, extreme cold can damage or kill the plant, so it should be protected if temperatures are expected to plummet sharply.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Small-flowered Foxgloves to remove spent flower spikes and to encourage a second bloom. After the first flush of flowers has faded, cut back the flower stalks to the base to promote new growth. Pruning should be done immediately after the first flowering is over, typically in the mid to late summer. Additionally, deadheading regularly during the blooming season can help extend the flowering period.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Digitalis parviflora, commonly known as the Small-flowered Foxglove, a well-draining soil mix with organic matter such as peat or leaf mold is recommended. The ideal soil pH for this plant is slightly acidic to neutral (pH 5.5 to 7). A mix of loam, sand, and compost will create conditions conducive to its growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Small-flowered Foxgloves are biennials or short-lived perennials and thus do not typically require frequent repotting. If grown in containers, repot once every 1-2 years, or as needed when the plant outgrows its pot or the soil becomes depleted.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Small-flowered Foxglove prefers moderate humidity levels. While it can handle a range of humidity conditions, it does best with some atmospheric moisture. Avoid overly dry environments but there's no need for high humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Small-flowered Foxglove in bright, indirect light indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Small-flowered Foxglove in partial shade outdoors.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Digitalis parviflora, commonly known as small-flowered foxglove, begins its life as a seed, germinating in moist, well-draining soil in areas with partial to full sun. After germination, the seedling develops into a rosette of leaves close to the ground during its first year, focusing on growing its root system. In the second year, it sends up a tall flower spike with numerous reddish-brown to purple tubular flowers that are attractive to bees and other pollinators. Following pollination, which is often facilitated by bumblebees, the plant produces small capsules containing numerous tiny seeds. The parent plant typically dies after seed production, having completed its biennial life cycle. The newly dispersed seeds can then initiate the life cycle anew if conditions are favorable.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Digitalis parviflora Jacq., commonly known as the small-flowered foxglove, is typically propagated through seed. The ideal time for sowing these seeds is in late winter to early spring. Sow the seeds thinly on the surface of a well-drained seed starting mix and gently press them into the substrate as they need light to germinate. Keep the container in a warm space—around 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit (18-21 degrees Celsius)—and maintain consistent moisture. Germination usually occurs within 2-4 weeks. Once seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted into individual pots and later moved to their final location in the garden once the risk of frost has passed.