Native substitute for Foxglove ( Digitalis purpurea )

learn2turn(6)May 26, 2013

I have an area of my garden where Foxglove got planted several years ago. Each plant lives two or three years, flowers nicely and then gets replaced by self-seeding volunteers. It's a nice garden plant with attractive flowers but I'd rather have something native.

The site is zone 6 with about 70-80% sun and medium soil that is well-drained but doesn't dry out.


I have some columbine in shadier parts of the area but want something taller and showier. Maybe lupines? I've grown them before but haven't get good look with a perpetual supply of self-seeding volunteers like the foxglove.

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lycopus(z5 NY)

Liatris spp. can be as showy and are perennial so you won't need to worry about them reseeding.

If you use Lupinus perennis it should come back every year without reseeding. It mostly likes sandy soil though.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 1:01PM
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sherriseden(z6 IL)

Penstemon grandiflorus looks a lot like foxglove and is a true perennial (foxglove tends toward biennial), but needs mostly sun - will that works?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Great blue lobelia (lobelia siphilitica) has tall blue flower stalks in summer, returns reliably for me, and reseeds if you let it. Good for part sun/dappled shade, likes a well-drained but moist soil, excellent combination with chartreuse - outstanding combination when it blooms alongside my limelight hydrangea. Or try cardinal flower (lobelia cardinalis) for red flowers, but the flower stalks are a bit shorter.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Penstemon digitalis (smooth penstemon) - lovely white(ish) flowers

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 6:51AM
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How about Penstemon digitalis? White flowers in beautiful spikes. It's similar enough that it was even named after foxglove.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 5:50PM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Calico beard tongue

Here is a link that might be useful: Penstemon calycosus

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:46PM
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bubbleoffplumb(z6 NY)

i know the op asked in may but,
Carolina "Lupine" Thermopsis villosa may work.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thermopsis villosa

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 12:50AM
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