Growing false foxglove(I got seeds)

dragonflydeeDecember 22, 2012

False foxglove is sporadic here and when I find some Buckeye cats are
Usually on it,and chrysalis too.This fall I waited until the stems turned
Brown,and took some seed.If anybody on the forum grows it I would
Really appreciate some advice on starting a patch closer to the house
So I could consolidate and help the plants to get as many cats thru
Cycle as possible..There are plenty of nectar sources for the butterflies
Here.The problem is that host plants are frequently quite scattered here,and some of them are not in good situations to thrive.
I do have some Purple Vervain here that I transplanted from the river
To a spot close to the house,and it has lived for years.

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

By false foxglove, I assume you mean some type of Agalinis, probably A. fasciculata, which is what grows here on the weedy area along the west side of my driveway/road and the 'meadow' up by the main road. I usually scatter the mature seeds in late fall, but this year I just let them fall naturally. The number of plants growing on both sites has increased hugely over the past couple of years, and there were a lot of buckeye cats at both places this fall - I also found a chrysalis that I brought in to a cage on my porch, where it later emerged.

All the books say that Agalinis is parasitic (or semi or hemi-parasitic?) on the roots of grasses. Since I've never seen it growing naturally anywhere but on weedy roadsides, I assume that's correct. The plants increased in number the most on the front 'meadow', where the grasses are much thinner than they are on the driveway, so I think it's best for the seeds to be sown amongst weeds, but not real thick ones. I've noticed that the Agalinis grows in areas up front where there are no grasses, just other weeds, so it's apparent that grasses aren't essential, just small roots. Tree roots probably don't hurt, though, because there are very tall trees growing at the meadow's edge, and there are big roots under the soil - it's practically impossible to dig there.

You could try sowing the seeds in your garden, if you have an area with perennials where you'd like for Agalinis to grow. The flowers are very pretty, aren't they?


    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 1:45PM
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Thanks much Sherry!
Mine is more to the pink bell flowers and linear leaves( I swear I have seen the yellow somewhere) but I bet Angalinis for sure.The tiny fruits are globose capsules,and I made sure I did not take them as I just took the
Last I collected last week.This land I have been living on for abt 38 years
Is an old homestead going back to the late 1840s.It has been much disturbed,and associated with the native wire grass as well as sandy clearings.But thru the years I have found the Buckeye with this plant.
Also I found some American Lady cats in the back yard last summer on
A dwindling straggle of what we call Rabbit Tobacco( under the propane
Tank), and they had to be turned out on gathered healthy plants( scattered) .I am determined to consolidate plantings( just some close around the house and let the others go) I am getting too old to do so much walking!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:14PM
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so not to confuse I intended to text " I made sure I did not take them too early( green)" Sorry!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:24PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

There is a hairy false foxglove with a yellow flower, but the yellow flowering form that grows here is Seymeria cassioides. It has a very small yellow flower, and it grows in the same areas as the pink-flowering Agalinis fasciculata here and there in this area. I've found buckeye caterpillars on it.

The rabbit tobacco you mention is Gnaphalium obtusifolium, and it grow here, too, in the same places the Agalinis grows, but I've only found American lady caterpillars on it once or twice. Gnaphalium pensylvanicum, the very common cudweed, is where I find most of the AL cats.

Where are you located, DD? What river are you talking about? 'Not trying to be nosy, just curious. I love old things, and an old homestead from the 1840's is right up my alley! :)


    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 4:25PM
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sherry,I am down in the SE corner of my state,and that river is called the
Pea river derived from the Indian name Talakhatchee.The county is Coffee.
Because we are so close to the Florida line I consider the weather to be very forgiving,and every butterfly that can overwinter seems to do so.But,it does get cold and I have a good fire in my woodburning stove tonight.
I am very big on birds,and feed year round.I also breed dragonflies,and I
Have a loaded (plants)pond that also works for butterflies.I was very happy
To see them nectar at blue flowered Pickerel weed,and the RS Purples to
Sit out over the water sunning( I guess) on the floating water Hyacinths.
I think I posted somewhere I planted the tallest,stoutest Zinnas I could find
Around the pool to get butterflies up out of frog range as the annuals go.
So now,it is time to try for flower beds away from th pool,and I really want to include some local natives because the butterflies that live here already use them.
As to this place I was told when I married that the old house still standing was not the first house here,but that it was abt 100 yrs old.The people were
Called DuBose,and their ancestors were French Hugenots.
I have not yet posted that I have a lot of Lycoris,and the Yellow Sulphers
Dearly love it.There is a lot to work with here but I really want to do more if I
Can make it happen.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 7:09PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I know where Coffee County is in Alabama, DD. And there are people named Dubose in my area of Mississippi - they moved to AL and MS from South Carolina, where they originally settled.

That's amazing that you breed dragonflies! I've never known of anybody that did that, but it must be fascinating! There are many ponds in the country where I live, so there are many dragonflies, the most unusual being the roseate skimmers that I see from time to time. I even saw a pair mating in that odd way they do it this year. I got a picture of one of them after they separated -


    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 8:30PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Hi Dragonflydee,

Wow, your place sounds great. Do you have any seeds of purple false foxglove to either trade me or for sasbe?

In Sept I ordered those seeds plus Partridge Pea from after finding their name in a post. However, I never got my seeds nor answers to my queries. I need to ask paypal to refund my $. Prairiemoon has the slender false foxglove only and I am not sure if the buckeyes will use that one as a host?? Books say they do but is that true in my region I wonder? My wildflower bk says all in the same family - the purple one, Miss Sherry's Seymeria cassioides, and the yellow one at Easywildflowers on the link below. Link just for info of course, but does anyone know if the buckeyes use the one on the link as host?

I'm hoping to grow gomphrena globosa from seeds that someone gave me & let it grow up somewhat, then I guess I would need to direct sow the hemiparasitic (new word for me) purple false foxglove next to the gomphrena. Miss Sherry, you tell DD to try in her garden, but do these 2 take the same conditions? Miss Sherry, you know everything!

DD you can e-mail me about the seeds through gardenweb if you wish & please see my little tradelist near my profile. Thanks! River

My book says needs oak tree roots, dunno myself:
Aureolaria (yellow false foxgove) at Easywildflowers

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 3:43AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Yes, River, according to all I've read, these members of the snapdragon family are all parasitic on the roots of other plants. I can't guarantee that they'll grow without there being some grasses around, but based on where some are growing in my 'meadow', they probably can grow on the roots of other plants.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 10:58AM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Thanks so much, Miss Sherry, much appreciated! That's a plan - to try to grow purple false foxglove together with the old fashion purple/pink gomphrena. I have plenty of gomphrena seeds from someone's yard. Thanks to DD and Miss Sherry for a very helpful thread - I'm hopeful! Best, River

Just for interest - lots of appealing seeds sold online by Monticello including gomphrena seeds, blurb with their history and mention of Thomas Jefferson

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 8:34PM
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You might also try Native American Seed in Texas, I think. They have a lot of different native seed varieties.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 7:48PM
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