William Curtis, the author of Flora Londinensis once said about these flowers: “ How delicate are the little spots which ornament the inside of this flower”…. He forgot to add that you’d be dead meat if you ever ate these flowers by mistake. Strangely enough, the extract of this self-same flower is also used as medication in case of heart failure.
In Shimla, I have seen this plant grow up to a metre in height. Its tubular flowers, with little dark spots which Curtis mentions above, are arranged in a cluster around the stem.
The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898) found on B’s shelves says that foxglove, which the Welsh call Fairy’s glove and the Irish, Fairy-bells, is either a corruption of Folk’s glove—i.e. the glove of the good folks or fairies, or else of the Saxon fox[es]glofa, red or fox-coloured glove. (French, gants de Notre Dame).
Enfin, two things.
1. Scientific details:
Species: Digitalis Purpurea
2. Emily Dickinson:
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.
Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!