STRAW FOXGLOVE

Digitalis lutea

Plantain Family [Plantaginaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8yellow
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ1
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZmedium

1st July 2013, Portsdown Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Usually a perennial growing up to 1m in height. Much less widespread than Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). Flowers pale yellow rather than the usual purple (or sometimes white) of Foxglove.


1st July 2013, Portsdown Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Flowers strikingly different from those of Foxglove: they have 5 triangular 'lobes' at the end of a kazoo-shaped tube. The lower lip being the largest. Two smaller triangular lobes stick out on the sides, and a shorter nicked one on the top. The petals, as these lobes are called, have long straggly white hairs.


1st July 2013, Portsdown Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Kazoo-shaped body from above.


1st July 2013, Portsdown Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Another striking difference from Foxglove are the two large cream to brown-coloured U-shaped anthers lurking just inside at the mouth of the throat.


1st July 2013, Portsdown Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
A further difference is the cleanly-shaped and smooth leaves, which are narrower than those of Foxglove, are a lighter-green, and lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate lacking any waviness.


1st July 2013, Portsdown Hill, Hampshire. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Leaves alternate on the stem and without stalks, widest near the stem.

A PELORIC STRAW FOXGLOVE (Digitalis lutea)

 Mutations Menu
22rd June 2013, Lybster, Caithness, Scotland. Photo: © Angela Hawkes
This Straw Foxglove (Digitalis lutea), which is a different species to Foxglove, is peloric. The normally zygomorphic symmetry of a flower is cast aside in peloric flowers instead the actinomorphic form with radial symmetry is adopted. The number of petals and stamens has also multiplied.


29th June 2013, Lybster, Caithness, Scotland. Photo: © Angela Hawkes
Peloric flowers on foxgloves are normally right at the very top of the flower with just a single flower being peloric whilst the rest are normal, as is the case here.


Hybridizes with : Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) to produce Digitalis × fucata, which is not rare, and often grows in gardens with the parents, but hasn't been seen outside the garden.

Some similarities to : Yellow Foxglove (Digitalis grandiflora) but that has very large flowers, larger than those of Foxglove, and which are coloured a deeper shade of yellow.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : See captions.

Grows scattered in a few places mainly in southern England. It is a short-lived garden flower, but one which escapes (many do not survive outside the garden).


  Digitalis lutea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Plantaginaceae  

Distribution
 family8Plantain family8Plantaginaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Digitalis
Digitalis
(Foxgloves)

STRAW FOXGLOVE

Digitalis lutea

Plantain Family [Plantaginaceae]