DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Foxglove. Flowers of the foxglove plant Digitalis purpurea, growing in a sunny woodland clearing. Foxgloves are common in woodlands but are said not to flower unless in sunlight. The trumpet-shaped purple flowers are pollinated by large insects like bumblebees, which climb inside the flowers in search of nectar and unwittingly pick up pollen. Foxgloves are the source of the important heart- stimulant drugs digitoxin and digoxin, which are somtimes given to victims of heart failure. These compounds make the plant extremely poisonous if eaten, causing symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, and abnormal heart rhythm. Photographed in Cumbria, UK.
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