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Species Datapage No 11  

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Species Common Name: Fleabane
Species Botanical Name: Pulicaria dysenterica


Fleabane is a little known wildflower, getting scarcer by the year as wetland and moist soils are drained, nearly gone east of the Shannon, this flower is on of the very best late summer bloomers, a must for any garden or landscape where the soil holds it's moisture well into summer. 


It is a good wildlife plant to attract insects.  Grown from seed or plants, Fleabane sends out long underground runners and spreads fast into clumps of bold colour. Ideal for roadsides.

Management:  Grassland species requires cutting at end of year
Tolerance of cutting: high
Cutting time: End of year

Edible / Medicinal: Medicinal, Do not consume unless advised. Probably contain poisons


Life Cycle (Form): Perennial 

Flower Height: 50 to 60 cm

Foliage Height: 5 - 10 cm

Flower Colour: Yellow, 

Flowering period: August, September.

Time to Flower: 24 months

Soil Type: Will grow in most soils, best in deep, peaty, damp soil.  

pH Type: Acid, Neutral, Alkaline.

Moisture: Moist, Wet

Aspect:  Shade to full sun

Wildlife Value: Medium, Attracts Butterflies, Hoverflies & Bees. 


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Species Common Name:  Foxglove
Species Botanical Name:  Digitalis purpurea
foxglove roadside.PNG (199455 bytes)

Few of our wildflowers are as popular as the tall purple Foxglove, its just about everybody's favourite.

Having important medical use and great for Bumble bees, this upright species sometimes blooms white.

If you have it growing in your garden you probably have an acid soil.  

The plant is poisonous and care should be taken to explain its properties to children.


foxglove.png (152230 bytes) What more needs to be said about Foxglove than has been written in every wildflower and gardening book ever written.

That it grows on stony, (shale) acid drained soils in the west and in Co. Wicklow, Co. Down and Co. Donegal. That Foxglove grows best from seed and it requires two sowing over two years to establish as it is Biannual.

Foxglove will transplant and acts as a ground cover when young, it also tolerates deep shade provided that it gets winter sun, so it will grow under the dense foliage of Sycamore, Beech and Chestnut trees
Management:  Requires self seeding, in shade allow seed to fall, or cut and scatter the seeds.  Some persistence in dry open peaty shaley grassland.  Keep fertility poor, 
Tolerance of cutting None, except end of season management
Cutting time: None
Edible / Medicinal: Poison. Very Medicinal.  Do not consume unless advised. Probably contain poisons
Foxglove in Donegal
Foxglove growing on a raised peat bank in the open in full sunlight, in such situations more vigorous species will compete out the foxglove and form a grassy bank. so if you want foxglove be prepared to Gap create the soil.  Burning grass away, brings on Foxglove as does Coppice and heavy pruning of bushes and trees.

Foxglove can be used in Shady borders to provide height and colour at a time between Spring and Summer.

Life Cycle (Form): Biennial

Flower Height: 60 to 150 cm

Foliage Height: 5 - 30 cm

Flower Colour: Purple

Flowering period: May, June, 

Time to Flower: 12 months

Soil Type: Will grow in most soils, best in light dry, acid, sandy, peaty or light soil.  

pH Type: Acid, Neutral, 

Moisture: Dry, Moist, 

Aspect:  Shade to full sun

Wildlife Value:  Medium, Attracts Bumble Bees


foxglove_1png.png (153126 bytes)

Among Bracken fern, you can grow Foxglove as well as Dog Violets and Hedge Stichwort, Bluebell and Red Campion.


The plant is best let grow where it arrives and only weeded when threatening a more valuable species.

Each year Design By Nature produces about 3 Billion seeds of Foxglove for sale. The seed is dust size, where they all go I will never understand, but many of our first customers still have Foxglove flowering all about the place.


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