A very common plant, both in the garden and the wild, with the potential to kill in quite small amounts but also the source of medication which has saved thousands of lives since its discovery in 1775.

The name “foxglove” was first recorded in the year 1542 by Leonhard Fuchs, whose family name, is a Germanic word meaning “fox” The genus digitalis is from the Latin digitus meaning finger, perhaps referencing the shape of the flowers, which accommodate a finger when fully formed

Thus, the name is recorded in Old English as foxes or fox’s glove, folk myths obscured the literal origins of the name, insinuating that foxes wore the flowers on their paws to silence their movements as they stealthily hunted their prey.

Folk and local names include, dead men’s bells, dog’s finger, fairy fingers, fairy gloves, finger flower, folk’s dead men’s bells, dog’s finger, fairy fingers, fairy gloves, finger flower, folk’s glove, lion’s mouth, ladies’ glove