[So named by Fuchst from digitalis, a finger of a glove, in allusion to the form of the flowers.]
Digitalis purpurea, with purple flowers; also a variety D, alba, with white flowers. Ornamental plants of great beauty, producing dense spikes of flowers on stems, three, four, or five feet high, in June and July, and straggling spikes most of the season. It is a biennial, propagated by sowing the seeds; flowers the second year. It may be perpetuated by dividing the roots every year, and is sometimes called an imperfect perennial.
It is suitable for the border, and may be introduced into the shrubbery with fine effect, as its tall, spire-like spikes, crowned with its large thimble or bell-shaped pur-ple or white flowers, will finely contrast with the green foliage of the shrubs.
D. ferruginea or Iron-colored Foxglove; a hardy perennial, with brown flowers, from July to August; four feet high.
D.lutea. or Small Yellow Foxglove, a hardy perennial with light yellow flowers, from July to August; two feet high.
A hardy perennial, with large light yellow flowers, from July to August; four feet high.
"Woolly-flowered Foxglove, with white and brown flowers, from July to August; two feet high. All the species are poisonous when taken into the system, and the leaves are used medicinally.
"It is a pity this plant is poisonous, for it is extremely beautiful, particularly those kinds which are of a deep-rose color. They are all speckled within the bell, which adds still more to their richness. Mrs. C. Smith invites the bee to
"Explore the Foxglove's freckled bell."
Brown uses a similar epithet when he describes Pan as seeking gloves for his mistress, a curious conceit:
"To keep her slender fingers from the sunne, Pan through the pastures oftentimes hath runne, To plucke the speckled Fox-Gloves from their stem And on those fingers neatly placed them."
"The bee appears regardless of its poisonous qualities;
.- Bees that soar for bloom .
High as the highest peak of Furnace Fells,
Will murmur by the hour in Fox-Glove bells." - Wadsworth's Sonnet, "The Fox-Glove, in whose drooping bells the bee Makes her sweet music." - B. Cornwall. "Let me thy vigils keep 'Mongst houghs pavilioned, where the deer's swift lead Startles the wild bee from the Fox-Glove bell." - Keats.
"But it is not the bee alone that braves this powerful poison; women of the poorer class, in Derbyshire, drink large draughts of Fox-glove tea, as a cheap means of obtaining the pleasures, or forgetfulness, of intoxication. It is said to produce a great exhilaration of spirits. Well may the word intoxicate originate in poison."
It is a native of England, Germany, and other parts of Europe.
D0DECATHE0N. - American Cowslip.
[A fanciful name, signifying the twelve gods or divinities.)
Dodecatheon Meadia. - American Cowslip, Shooting Star. - A highly ornamental plant, displaying its flowers in May and June; throwing up stems a foot high, with a large, umbel-like cluster of singularly beautiful pale-purple flowers. The petals are reflexed, or thrown back from the centre, like the Cyclamen. There is a variety with white flowers. Soon after flowering, the foliage dies down, and the plant is dormant during the summer, when it may be propagated by parting the roots, leaving a bud, or the rudiments of one, on the crown of each. It is a native of the West and South, and perfectly hardy.