Poisonous and Medicinal Plant: Foxglove or Digitalis Purpurea Essay

Poisonous and Medicinal Plant: Foxglove or Digitalis Purpurea Essay

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Digitalis purpurea, commonly known as the foxglove is one of the deadliest but at the same time most medicinal plants in our world. This flowering plant is very widespread being found in much of temperate Europe and parts of North America. While, the leaves, flowers, and seeds are all poisonous to us and other animals, compounds have been extracted from the species and are used in heart medicines and other medicinal products that we still use today. The foxglove can grow in very little soil and can often be found in many cracks and crevices making it a very common and recognizable plant species (Royal Botanic Gardens, 2011).
Digitalis purpurea is a biennial plant meaning that it only lives for two years and after that it dies, and reproduces (Cornell, 2014). It has soft, pubescent, ovate to lanceolate shaped leaves forming a basal rosette. During the first year of growth the plant forms a basal-rosette and does not mature until the next years grow cycle (Cornell, 2014). During the second year of growth the foxglove begins to grow a flowering stem that can reach 3-6 feet high (Cornell, 2014). The flowers form a spike growing off of the stem and can bear up to 20 flowers on each stem. Each flower is about 2” and bilaterally symmetric coming in a wide variety of colors such as; purple, lavender, pink, yellow, and white (Brun, 2014). Each flower has five petals that are fused into a coronal tube. The flowers hang down in a droop-like fashion and only come off of one side of the stalk, and last about four weeks. The foxglove is extremely poisonous and is lethal if ingested; all parts of the plant are toxic including; roots, stems, flowers, leaves, and so on. While, every part of this plant is toxic it i...

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...SAVING FOXGLOVE. University of Southern California , 1 Jan. 2011. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. .
Patil, JG, ML Ahire, KM Nitnaware, S Panda, VP Bhatt, PB Kishor, and TD Nikam. "In Vitro Propagation and Production of Cardiotonic Glycosides in Shoot Cultures of Digitalis Purpurea L. by Elicitation and Precursor Feeding." Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 97.6 (2013): 2379-93. Print.
López-Lázaro, M, De L. P. N. Palma, N Pastor, C Martín-Cordero, E Navarro, F Cortés, MJ Ayuso, and MV Toro. "Anti-tumour Activity of Digitalis Purpurea L. Subsp. Heywoodii."Planta Medica. 69.8 (2003): 701-4. Print.
Klein, Carol. "How to grow: Foxgloves." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 18 May 2002. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. .

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