Common foxglove flowers, Digitalis purpurea

Common foxglove flowers, Digitalis purpurea


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Foxglove flowers. Flowers of the common foxglove plant Digitalis purpurea. From June to September the plant grows flowers from one-metre-high spikes. The plant grows in bright, dry habitats. The plant is poisonous due to the presence of the alkaloid digitalin in its leaves. This can be extracted and used as the source of the drug, digitalis. In cases of heart failure this drug can be used to stimulate the heart muscle, being administered either orally or by injection. Although it is native to Britain and western Europe, the plant has also become naturalised in North America. Photographed on Vancouver Island in Canada.

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