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F is for Foxglove.....

A member of the Digitalis family of plants, Foxglove has been useful in the medical field as a group of cardiac medications are extracted from its leaves.


This beautiful biennial that adorns your lovely garden hides a deadly secret. Also known as Dead Man's Bells and Witches' Gloves, just a single nibble of a leaf could be fatal. The entire plant is toxic, not even drying or cooking it diminishes the level of toxicity-- which is unfortunate as several accidental poisonings have occurred where people have mistaken members of Digitalis family for the harmless Comfrey, which is often brewed in teas.

In folklore, foxglove is connected with fairies. The name has been attributed to a folktale, where fairies would give the flowers to foxes. The foxes would use the flowers to "glove" their toes so they could run through chicken coops without being heard. It is believed that the spots inside the foxglove flower are where a fairy has touched the plant and anyone who plants foxglove in their front garden is protected from evil forces. However, picking the foxglove and taking it indoors is said to anger the fairies.

Foxglove Fairytales

Tip your fairy thimble down, dear, 
see the dainty thumbprints running through.
Tread softly on little fox feet, dear,
hear the pixie giggles lilting true. 

Keep the fairy mittens near, dear,
know they hold safe your hearth and home.
Mar not the witches bells, dear,
and you'll ne'er face the dark of night alone.

                                                                                            --- e.a.s. demers

Comments

  1. Cool post! Things that are beautiful yet deadly are good fodder for fiction. And Foxglove is a gorgeous plant. I write YA speculative fiction. Hop on by for a visit if you like. I'm doing A to Z, and today, I'm #639 (It seems to vary from day to day :) )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And, that's so very true that the beautiful, yet deadly make for a good story :-)
      Good luck on your A-Z journey....

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