Common Name: Grecian Foxglove, Woolly Foxglove
Scientific Name: Digitalis lanata Ehrh.
Related Species: D. lamarckii auct. balcan., D. purpurea L., D. grandiflora Mill., D. lutea L.
All above and below ground parts of the plant must be destroyed. Additionally, no transportation, propagation, or sale of these plants is allowed. Failure to comply may result in enforcement action by the county or local municipality. Minnesota Noxious Weed Law.
Grecian foxglove is native to central and southern Europe. It was brought to North America as an ornamental then escaped cultivation. In Minnesota, it is invasive and displaces desirable vegetation. Grecian foxglove is a threat to Minnesotans, yet it has both good and bad traits. Beneficial compounds derived from this species provide cardiac medicines. However, this species is poisonous to humans, livestock and wildlife.
Grecian foxglove thrives in habitats ranging from hot, dry sites in the Mediterranean to cool, moist, high altitude sites in the Himalayas. Reported infestations in Minnesota and Kansas are in open sunny roadsides, residential yards, grasslands, river bluffs, and forest margins.
Not knowing its negative potential, gardeners planted Grecian foxglove as an ornamental. Established stands produce large amounts of seed that can be spread by wind, water, vehicles, humans, wildlife, and by moving seed-containing soil. All reported infestations in Minnesota are in Dakota, Wabasha, and Washington Counties. View Grecian foxglove distribution in Minnesota.
Grecian foxglove is toxic to humans, livestock, and wildlife. Grecian foxglove cut and dried in hay could result in livestock poisoning. This species is also invasive and displaces desirable vegetation such as forage and native plants.
All parts of Grecian foxglove are poisonous in both fresh and dried forms. Cardiac glycosides from Grecian foxglove include digoxin and digitoxin and primarily affect cardiovascular, neurologic, and gastrointestinal systems. Ingesting plant parts or absorbing compounds through skin in direct contact with Grecian foxglove may adversely affect humans and other mammals and could be fatal. It is possible that smoke from burning plants may be toxic.
MDA Noxious Weed Program
County Ag Inspectors