Foxgloves, Flora in Co. Mayo

The Foxglove is a robust, downy biennial plant.

Frequent and locally abundant in Co. Mayo it can be found in woods, heaths and rocky ground on acid soils.

The flowering stem develops in the second year and flowers in early summer. The drooping flowers, collect in a terminal raceme, are purple and can also possess various marks and spots. The leaves are spirally arranged and covered with white hairs.

This plant is very well known as the natural source of medicines for the treatment of heart disease, but serious toxicity occurs with ingestions.

The scientific name is Digitalis Purpurea and it means " finger-like", in fact it is easy to imagine the single flower fitted over a human fingertips; the Irish name instead is Mèaracàn Pùca.