Known As: Foxglove
Latin Name: Digitalis purpurea and other members of
the Digitalis family
Description: Foxglove is a biennial plant with soft, hairy,
toothed, ovate and lance-shaped leaves in a basal rosette. Flower spikes
have purple, lavander, rose, pink, yellow or white spotted thimble-like
flowers which hang down and last about six days. Erect stems about 3 foot
high. It derives its name from the flowers which resemble the fingers
of a glove and possibly from a northern legend that bad fairies gave the
blossoms to the fox to put on his toes, so that he might soften his tread
while he hunted for prey. First year growth has been mistaken for Comfrey
(Symphitum officinale) with fatal results.
Poisonous Parts: Entire plant, especially the leaves.
Although, ingestion of this plant can be fatal at any time during the life
of the plant, it is most toxic just before the seeds ripen. The upper leaves
of the stem are also more toxic than the lower leaves. Toxins involved
are: the glycosides digitalin and digitoxin which affect the cardiovascular
system and saponins which affect the gastrointestinal tract.
Symptoms: Vomiting and diarrhea; cardiovascular irregularities.
Treatment: Unless your cat is unconscious or having convulsions,
induce vomiting and follow procedures to delay
absorption and speed elimination. Get prompt veterinary assistance.