Daily Sketches – June 30 Flowers – 11. Digitalis purpurea

The flowers of Digitalis purpurea, the purple foxglove, are tubular, pendent, arranged in a spiral around long spikes. Each flowers has 5 sepals, joined at the base, and 5 petals, joined in a tube, the lowest forming a lip as a landing area for pollinators. The lower petal also has markings to guide the pollinators (mainly bumblebees, large enough to touch the stamens and stigma sitting on the roof of the corolla tube) and long hairs to discourage small insects from entering the flower and feeding on the nectar found inside the narrow end of the tube.

The flowers have 4 stamens and 1 style attached to the base of the corolla tube and in the same arrangement that you usually find in this type of tubular flowers (Campsis radicans, Paulownia, Catalpa). 

Digitalis purpurea and Digitalis grandiflora. Arrangement of stamens inside the flower.

The stigma is maturing and opening its lobes in a fork shape only after the stamens shed their pollen, helping prevent self-pollination (protandrous flowers)

Ovary superior, 2-celled, develops into a capsule with numerous small seeds. 


In today’s video I’m sketching the foxglove flower with sanguine and dip pen & ink.

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