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Products > Digitalis 'Illumination Flame' [Digiplexis]
 
Digitalis 'Illumination Flame' [Digiplexis] - Illumination Foxglove
  

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Scrophulariaceae (Figworts)
Origin: Garden Origin
Flower Color: Purple
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Synonyms: [x Digiplexis 'Illumination Flame']
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
Digitalis 'Illumination Flame' (Illumination Foxglove) - A compact well-branched sterile perennial foxglove to 36 inches tall by 18 inches wide with dark green foliage and a succession of sturdy vertical flowering stems from April through late fall with beautifully interesting flowers that have purple-pink-tipped petals with orange-yellow centers streaked in purple pink with an extended lower petal lobe. Plant in full sun to light shade and give occasional to regular irrigation. Because of the Canary Island parent this plant likely will be a bit more tender than typical foxgloves but in early testing plants re-sprouted from the ground and so it is being recommended to USDA Zone 8. Another consequence of having the Canary Island parent is that it may remain evergreen and more shrubby in mild climate gardens - time will tell. This plant received the Best New Plant Award at the Royal Horticulture Chelsea Flower Show in 2012, the Greenhouse Grower's 2013 Award of Excellence, the People's Choice Award at the New Varieties Showcase at the 2013 Farwest Trade Show in Portland, Oregon and it the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 American Garden Award. It is sure to be a hit in American gardens as a container specimen or along the border. It has been noted to be attractive to bees but plants have remained sterile. This plant is the result of the amazing hybridization work conducted in 2006 by Charles Valin, plant breeder at Thompson & Morgan. The dark foliage seems more strongly to resemble Digitalis purpurea but the flowers seems a good mix of both parents with a mix of the purple pink colors of Digitalis purpurea and the orange flowers and distinctive large upper petal lip of the Canary Island Foxglove. Sometimes referred to a Foxglove with lipstick, this plant represents for some an intergeneric hybrid between the European Purple Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) and the Canary Island Foxglove, considered by some to in the a separate genus, Isoplexis (I. canariensis) so it is sometimes marketed using the hybrid name x Digiplexis. The most recent DNA work conducted on this group in 2004 (Brauchler, C., H. Meimberg and G. Heubl "Molecular phylogeny of the genera Digitalis L. and Isoplexis (Lindley) Loudon (Veronicaceae) based on ITS- and trnL-F sequences") however puts Isoplexis within the genus Digitalis. Also confusing is a reorganization of the traditional family relationships as is was originally put into the Figwort family, the Scrophulariaceae, but now has been placed with many other familiar plant into the enlarged Plantain family, the Plantaginaceae. The debate continues on this and these may someday all be in the Antirrhinaceae or Veronicaceae. Both the common and botanical name for the genus hails from the shape the flowers. Digitalis is from the Latin word 'digit' meaning "finger" with the suffix 'alis' "pertaining to" or "like" in reference to the finger-like tubular flowers. The original common name was reportedly "Folksglove" meaning resembling the finger of a glove. Image on this page from Thompson and Morgan.  This description is based on our research and the observations we have made of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Digitalis 'Illumination Flame'.