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Foxgloves

The bluebells have now gone, but there are still good floral displays to be seen. The foxgloves are out, and between way marks 26 and 27 make quite a display.

We don’t know why the foxglove got its name but its from the Old English foxes glofa. In the past children turned the flowers into their own dolls, finger puppets and pretend claws.

Although the foxglove is very poisonous, it was once widely used in folk medicine. When William Withering investigated the plant in the eighteenth century it was a turning point. He realised it was a good remedy for heart failure when used in precise quantities, and this led to the beginnings of modern prescription pharmacology. We now know the plant contains the heart drug digitalis which today is mostly prepared from imported foxglove leaves.

A foxglove in Parkhill Inclosure