FAIRY FOXGLOVE

Erinus alpinus

Plantain Family [Plantaginaceae]  

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8mauve
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8zygo morph8hemizygo
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

28th April 2011, Chatburn, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A short plant less than 8 inches high that gardeners like to embed in walls.


10th June 2009, Smardale, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Mauve to lilac flowers, with five petals, not all the same width. With two upper petals narrower than the three lower ones it has bi-lateral symmetry.


31st May 2005, Greenberfield, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
The petals with distinctive notches at the tips.


31st May 2005, Greenberfield, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
Barely six inches tall, with hairy stems.


31st May 2005, Greenberfield, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
Stem leaves small, toothed and broadest at the top. With a basal rosette of rounded-lobed leaves.


10th June 2009, Smardale, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Flowers have a long petal tube, flaring into five notched petals. The centre of the flower is tinged deep yellow, contrasting with the mauve-coloured flowers.


10th June 2009, Smardale, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Very hairy below the flowers.


28th April 2011, Chatburn, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are fleshy, dark green, shoe-horn shaped, with short rounded lobes.


Easily confused with : Garden Phlox flowers, but they do not have notched petals nor are they zygomorphic with bilateral symmetry like Fairy Foxglove is, but rather are actinomorphic with radial symmetry. Fairy Foxglove is slightly zygomorphic, hence hemi-zygomorphic. Sometimes the flowers are partially or wholly inverted. A number of differing cultivars exist, the above are probably cultivars rather than truly wild since they were mostly growing on garden walls.

No relation to : Fairy Flax (a plant of very similar name) which is in the Flax family), nor to Fairy Fern.

Not to be confused with: Phlox. Flax and Phlox are quite different flowers that happen to look very similar; Phlox being a low-growing garden ground-cover plant with the same five petals (usually notched similarly), and being similarly coloured (but without the yellow centre.

Not much relation to : Foxglove (a plant of very similar name, and which also happens to be in the same Plantain family). The flowers of Foxglove are weakly two-lipped; those of Fairy Foxglove not so.

More likely to be found in a rock garden or the wall of a garden than growing wild.

The only flower in the Genus Erinus (or at least in the UK).


  Erinus alpinus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Plantaginaceae  

Distribution
 family8Plantain family8Plantaginaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Erinus
Erinus
(Fairy Foxglove)

FAIRY FOXGLOVE

Erinus alpinus

Plantain Family [Plantaginaceae]  

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