Foxglove (Digitalis) Flowers

I find non-native plants annoying, but they are beautiful. Most plants are deadly to humans, and it never ceases to amaze me the toxins vegetation contains. It’s hard to imagine how if lost in the wild how you’re supposed to tell what can be eaten and what can’t. If you don’t know your botany, you can die! So remember that, kids and students. Do your botany homework.

So here’s a a recent picture I took. It’s part of a set of a neighbor’s yard. Everything is out on the street. Roses, Azaleas, Bulbs, and a patch of brilliant foxglove planted a few years go and just coming into form for the first time.

The driveway roses are edible, but the digitalis are so poisonous a nibble will kill you! if you’re willing to suffer a screamingly agonizing death, tear off a piece and have a bite. A plant like this, when imported, is so out of its natural range, there exist here none of the moths, butterflies and bees that like them. They are all out there in digitalis country, far from this locale.
Native to southwestern europe and northwest africa…
“Depending on the species, the digitalis plant may contain several deadly physiological and chemically related cardiac and steroidal glycosides. Thus, the digitalis has earned several more sinister names: Dead Man’s Bells, and Witches’ Gloves.
“The entire plant is toxic (including the roots and seeds), although the leaves of the upper stem are particularly potent, with just a nibble being enough to potentially cause death. Early symptoms of ingestion include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, wild hallucinations, delirium, and severe headache. Depending on the severity of the toxicosis the victim may later suffer irregular and slow pulse, tremors, various cerebral disturbances, especially of a visual nature (unusual colour visions with objects appearing yellowish to green, and blue halos around lights), convulsions, and deadly disturbances of the heart. For a case description, see the paper by Lacassie.[11]” –Wikipedia

Fred up the street has a remarkable front yard garden. It’s a veritable botanical garden. These photos due to some setting came out very underexposed. Some very narrow f-stops and fast exposures wound getting used, but I brought them back (most of them) in Photoshop using the levels sliders. The evening light was very delicately coming through the trees and bouncing off the clouds floating along overhead. Whenever this happens, underexposure followed by using levels to bring out what’s hidden, the results are a lot like the old Kodachrome 25 slide film! Remember that film? Very deep shadows but intense colors from anything getting lit by sunlight.

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