Native. Perennial. Propagates by seeds and by stolons. Time of bloom: May to August. Seed-time: July to October. Range: Nova Scotia to Ontario and Michigan, southward to the Carolinas and Tennessee. Also native to Europe and Asia. Habitat: Dry hillsides and open woods; pastures, lawns, and waste places.
Fig. 267. -Purple Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). X 1/4.
A frequent weed of upland pastures; its stoloniferous habit causes it to form patches or colonies, crowding out the larger and more nutritious forage plants.
Stems three to ten inches long, softly hairy, usually decumbent at the base and rooting at the lower joints, the flowering stalks erect. Leaves opposite, or the upper ones alternate, obovate to elliptical, a half-inch to an inch long, obtuse, softly hairy on both sides, finely toothed, the lower ones narrowing to short, margined petioles. Flowers in slender, spike-like racemes densely crowded on very short pedicels; corolla four-parted, the lower lobe less than half as large as the others, pale blue or whitish, marked with dark blue or violet lines, the whole flower only about a quarter-inch broad. Stamens two, one on each side of the upper lobe of the corolla, exserted; one slender style with stigma single; calyx with four narrow pointed lobes, longer than the pedicel. Capsule heart-shaped, two-celled, about an eighth of an inch broad, filled with fine, yellow, flattened seeds. (Fig. 268.)
This Speedwell is a medicinal herb, and its leaves and flowering tops, collected when the plant is in full bloom and carefully dried, are worth three to five cents a pound.
In lawns and yards, hoe-cutting and reseed-ing; in fields, cultivation of the ground; crowding out with clover.