Spice Island Foxglove
The 2-inch florets of cream-yellow with light orange blush appear on 24-30-inch racemes in early June and continue mid to late June. Sporadic re-bloom in late July through mid-August occurs with or without cutting back spent flowers.
Foliage interest – color/texture
Dark green, medium textured foliage is glossier than the species and grows from a basal clump. No fall color but foliage remains somewhat evergreen in winter.
Habit and growth rate observations
Two to three flowering stems spring from the 12 inch tall by 18-24 inch wide clump. Slow growth rate results in a plant that stays in place and does not reseed. Flowers do not flop, but may grow toward sun in shadier sites.
Site preference – soil & light
Best results were reported in gardens with well- drained, clay loam soil and part shade conditions.
Successes and possible drawbacks – how to overcome them
Hummingbirds were observed feeding on the flowers. Deer and rabbit resistance is a big plus for foxgloves. Lack of vigor in our climate can be helped by providing good drainage and adding organic matter to the soil.
Notes from growers/retailers
It looks great in a #1 pot and is a quick grower for Digitalis. Grow plants on the drier side with no pruning or pinching required for fullness.
Combining ‘Spice Island’ with Hosta ‘Touch of Class’ and Aruncus aethusifolius highlights the yellow flower color and provides textural contrast.
Parting SHOT – the overall evaluation results were Good
The evaluations were sharply split on this foxglove—half of the comments were glowing, half the ratings were fair to poor. Plant losses were observed in all trial gardens, and were most likely due to the wet spring of 2009. The more successful plantings were appreciated for their attractive flowers and foliage over the summer, deer / rabbit resistance, and food for hummingbirds.