The Purple Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea L., contains a number of poisonous alkaloids, and is used in medicine, chiefly as a heart stimulant. An overdose, or a succession of full medicinal ones, will cause the heart to lose force and become irregular. When death results it is from failure of the circulation.

Treatment consists of the use of emetics and purgatives along with tannic acid and alcohol or opium.

The Foxglove is a European plant. It was introduced into this country for decorative purposes, and has escaped from gardens in some localities, especially along the western coast. It is a tall, pubescent, stout-stemmed biennial herb with alternate leaves, the lower ones petioled and ovate lanceolate and the upper sessile and smaller. The drooping flowers are irregular, purple and spotted, and are borne in long racemes. The corolla is tubular, and the name digitalis comes from its fancied resemblance to the finger of a glove.