The English Foxglove is so well known to gardeners everywhere. Now the world of plant breeding has done it again by crossing Digitalis (The English Foxglove) with Isoplexsis which is native to the Canary Islands. The resultant selected plants make up this new combined family, the Digiplexis Illumination series. The first two selections now on the market for gardeners are ‘Illumination Flame’ and ‘Illumination Raspberry’ with others to follow. Flowering from late winter the tall spikes of flower growing up to 1 m high are show stopping. Honey eating birds, bees and insects are attracted to the flower making another real benefit for these plants in your garden. They are just as easy to grow in containers as in garden beds, a real highlight for your garden.
Anyone who has an urge to have a really special show in the garden would like to grow these plants. The lateral spikes of flower that come to their full potential in early spring continue to flower for many months as the spikes grow and develop. They are ideal also for growing in larger containers but can become a bit top heavy as the flower spikes continue to get heavier as they thrust upward to the sun. Make sure you secure them if you can by staking firmly.
Digiplexis are essentially carefree with a couple of things to look out for. Spider mites can be mischievous at times after hot dry spells or after stress. An odd attack of mealy bug has also been seen on the few trial pants we have grown during the past year. Care should be taken to ensure that the plants are watered regularly with liquid fertiliser added every three or four weeks. Once buds are visible the plants rush into flower quickly. Keep your eye on the plants during this time to make sure that the plants do not dry out or blow over which can cause a lot of damage.
This striking hybrid is the result of breeding by Thomson and Morgan between Digitalis (Foxglove) and a Digitalis relative from the Canary Islands, Isoplexis.
This new hybrid is marketed as Digiplexis™ a trade mark of Cultivaris North America LLC. The resulting hybrid is truly intermediate with bushy basal branching which eventually forms a woody trunk and has spikes of elegant rosy-orange flowers.