Sunday Picture Post: Foxglove, an ornamental native

Foxglove: 15th July 2019, Mousehold Heath, Norfolk

The epitome of the cottage garden, this showiest of native flowers isn’t, as you might think, named for the fox. Nope, no fox ever wore these on its fingers. It is named for German botanist Leonhard Fuchs.

A pretty flower… pretty lethal. Ingestion causes nausea, diarrhoea, drooling, abnormal heart rate, weakness, collapse, tremors, seizures… and death. But it also makes the eyes dilate, and so precious ladies in ages past used it to snaggle a mate. With that list of symptoms, it won’t surprise you to learn it’s the source of digitalin, a group of medicines used for heart problems.

 

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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51 Responses to Sunday Picture Post: Foxglove, an ornamental native

  1. Jim Borden says:

    I guess you can’t judge a flower by its looks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always wondered why they are called foxgloves. I’ve always liked the name.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! The flower looks so magical…! I know, Fuchs means Fox in German, but how did “Gloves” come into being?

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      It’s because the flower looks like a finger. Apparently. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I see. I thank you for letting me know! πŸ˜ƒ

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Pleasure. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • If you don’t mind, may I ask you what you had for breakfast and dinner? I am trying to write a story based on UK, and trying to get an insight into the common lives…

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Gosh, well, I have to say my lifestyle might be considered atypical. First, I don’t have breakfast. I do what’s called Intermittent fasting, which means not eating for 16+ hours. I’m fighting a wayward insulin problem. And it seems I’ve now got it under control. So my first meal of the day is lunch.
        Lunch: 7 handfuls (or cups) of shredded lettuce, of mixed varieties. Half a red onion diced. Quarter orange bell-pepper, chopped. About 2 inches of cucumber, diced. 5 baby plum tomatoes, halved. Tablespoon of mixed seeds (sesame, pumkin, and sunflower). Generously sprinked with garlic pepper, lightly salted with LoSalt (Potassium and Sodium). 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons of organic apple cyder vinegar drizzled over. Topped with Boursin cheese (cream cheese with herbs and garlic — too soft to cut, it sits in a chunk)
        I think that’s not the average UK lunch. πŸ™‚
        I have very low carbohydrate intake. I eat loads of high fat foods (cheese, yoghurt, cream, butter, guacamole, olive oil, coconut oil) I eat very little fruit (it’s a treat) but plenty of vegetables. I can’t have anything in the bean/pea family, nor the cabbage family. Despite I love them, they hate me.
        I’m healthy, I’m happy. I have energy.
        Does that help in any way?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow… Thank you so much for your taking your time and giving me such an wonderful insight in your life!
        It was a very, very big help and I really can’t thank you enough…
        Living without 16+ hours of food, must be so hard…! I hope you are doing well and may the insulin problem cure very soon…
        May I ask you why do the cabbage family don’t like you?
        And thank you again for your valuable insight in your life and these details…!
        πŸŒΈπŸ’ž

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Happy to oblige. But first, I do have the insulin problem under control. It’s been a battle, but I’m no longer insulin resistant. But I am sensitive to carbs, which I why I restrict them. And 16 hours without eating is easy … when you load up with fats instead of carbs. No, fats do not make you fat, and they’re not bad for the heart (so long as they’re the right fats: seed oils are bad-bads)
        And the brassica family, which include cabbage and parsnip and broccoli and other goodies, irritate my intestines to such a point that I’m rolling in pain. But they’re good veggies, with lots of all the right vitamins and minerals. Which is why I load up on lettuce for lunch. Otherwise, green veggies comprise leeks, asparagus, avocado and endive. Everything else is wonderfully colourful!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I see… I thank you deeply for parting me such knowledge.
        It’s a great news that your insulin problems are controlled! And perhaps because fats are stores of energy, they are quite helpful.
        I don’t eat many vegetables, but plenty of fruits (just your inverse πŸ˜ƒ)
        Thank you again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Fruits are high in fructose. I’m sworn off sugar. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I see. Sugar must be your enemy now…

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Indeed. Although the insulin is under control, it could swing into action again if I over-indulge in sugar. Besides which, I’ve lost my sweet tooth

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s quite expected, since you have trouble with insulin. I don’t have such a great sweet tooth too, but can’t really resist a good bite of chocolate… πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Ah, now chocolate. Though some brands are just too sweet, even for an occasional treat. But chocolate is just loaded with good things for our bodies. So the the treat can always be justified. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • You eat chocolate?

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Very occasional. It really is packed with useful minerals.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I see… πŸ˜ƒ

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess dark cocoa is okay for some of them are even quite bitter

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I like chocolate nibs, Which I think are the shells of the cocoa beans. Nice on yoghurt (plain, high fat, Greek, added cream)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I never tried it, but surely going to try once.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Warning, they are not sweet!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I also like things that are not very sweet… Thank you for your warning!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful photo. I must admit, it would be quite something to see a fox wearing gloves made out of this beauty πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jen Goldie says:

    AH! The Fairy Finger Foxglove! Beautiful! In March of this year I wrote about her here:
    https://starlightandmoonbeamsdotblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/fairy-finger-foxglove/
    BTW the comments were closed. But that’s ok. I just wanted to share my take on The Lady πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve always loved foxgloves – they were once my favourite wildflower until I discovered so many others.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wondered about the names of these flowers for a while – one of my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This one is so beautiful! But just like in life–the more prettier the more deadly! πŸ˜€ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tien Skye says:

    That always seems the case, isn’t it? The prettiest thing in nature is also the most dangerous

    Liked by 2 people

    • crimsonprose says:

      I think this isn’t as deadly as some of the fungi. And as I’ve said, it has provided medicine for heart problems. But yes, the pretty ones are most often the deadly and I have featured a few on this regular post

      Liked by 1 person

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