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London, United Kingdom
This blog will contain pictures and information from my everyday encounters with nature in London and the surrounding areas. I will log details of the origin of each photograph thus recording what there is to be seen and where it was seen. I very much welcome anyone else who can upload photos and information about nature in London and the home counties. I work freelance in the film industry so have plenty of days off. I hope to update Monday to Friday and once on the weekend posting at around 19.30, I don't post on bank holidays

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Foxglove, Dulwich.
Most important to know about this plant is that every part of it is deadly poisonous and the smallest morsel ingested is likely to kill you. It is equally dangerous for live stock. Elements of it are used in advanced medicine to treat various heart conditions but it is not suitable for the amateur herbalist to use. The only use I’ve heard of for it is as toilet paper as the leaves are large and smooth but knowing about its extreme poisonous qualities I’m rather worried about the leaves breaking up and conveying their poison in suppository form. I don’t know if that’s likely but I should stick to dock leaves. The plant it's sometimes confused with is Common comfrey which I shall be blogging on tomorrow.  Foxglove may have as many as 80 single flowers that grow on one side, opening from bottom up. In the first year there is only a rosette of leaves viewable and in the second the tall stem grows up through the middle. There are twenty or so different species but this is the most common.    

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