Eye Spy – Foxglove Eye Spots

As part of this weeks ‘Eye Spy‘ Weekly Photo Challenge, here are three photos of the very common and popular foxglove plant. What many people miss though, is the beauty of the individual flowers and their ‘eye’ spots.

Just as an extra wee note, did you know that foxgloves will only grow on acid soils – this can be useful geologically, in areas such as the chalk downland of southern England, it’s possible to locate localised clay bands by the presence of foxgloves (they won’t grow on the alkali soil of the chalk).

Foxglove - 'Eye' Spots (a)

Foxglove – ‘Eye’ Spots (a)

Foxglove - 'Eye' Spots (b)

Foxglove – ‘Eye’ Spots (b)

 

Foxglove - 'Eye' Spots (c)

Foxglove – ‘Eye’ Spots (c)

 

 

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51 thoughts on “Eye Spy – Foxglove Eye Spots

  1. A very interesting fact about them Andy and you took such amazing shots of them! Such a gorgeous flower and it’s true, I bet most people miss those beautiful eye-spots. They look like mystic runes to me. 😆

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    • Thank you Rough Seas 🙂 It is a shame that your parents dug them out of their garden, but many people do class them as weeds – personally speaking, I think most weeds (wild flowers) are far nicer than the garden plants – far more natural 🙂

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  4. Foxglove is beautiful but not so common in this area of the US. I have tried raising them but they must not like our sandy soil. Like you, I believe the native weeds and wildflowers to be the most beautiful. It’s as if they belong strewn about growing wild and casting seed on the winds!

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    • That’s a very beautiful way of putting it Lori 🙂
      I’m just guessing, but maybe you are on a calcareous sandstone as your bedrock, foxgloves appear to be sort of calcium carbonate intolerant. The calcite in some sandstones just forms the cement holding the grains together, and thus isn’t that obvious to the naked eye.

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  5. Fantastic photos and interesting info. I did know that foxgloves grow on acid soils. A tutor mentioned it when I was a student on a field trip to Juniper Hall in Surrey in 1966! As you say, chalk downland is very alkaline, so no foxgloves there – apart from the localised bands, as you say. They are such lovely flowers, and some people do have them in their gardens, weeds or not. 🙂

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    • I thought you might know about the soils and foxgloves Millie 🙂 I used to live fairly close to Mickleham, at Chilworth and at Cranleigh, both near Guildford, so I know Boxhill reasonably well. If I could have time travelled, I could have met you on the Downs! Lol! 🙂

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      • Yes, that’s true enough. The main thing I remember doing on Boxhill was searching for orchids! It’s a very pretty area – as is all downland. I know the Berkshire Downs very well because we lived in Wantage for six years (where I first ‘met’ King Alfred). 😀 It sounds as though you’ve moved about as much as I have! 🙂

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      • Boxhill and the surrounding Downs were good for orchids twenty years later, hopefully they are still good! I have moved around a wee bit, I’ve almost covered the four corners of the UK, but with nothing in between!! Lol! I’ve lived here in Fife, Anglesey, Cornwall and Surrey (oh and London for two years whilst at college).

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      • Yes, I get itchy feet, too – but sometimes you just have to stay put. I’m not sure I could cope with London nowadays. I’d probably have liked it when I was younger. I suppose I’ve got used to the rural life.

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      • I must admit, even when I was younger I didn’t really enjoy London, I constantly wanted to get back to the countryside! I think I would have enjoyed it more if digital cameras had been invented at that time. I was there just before the Docklands were ruined, and I wish I had a proper record of that part of London as it used to be, it was so full of character, even though it was fairly run down!

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      • Oh yes, I can understand how you feel about the Docklands. Photographic records like that would be invaluable for the future. I can also understand your need to get back to the countryside.We feel exactly like that after we’ve visited people in cities.

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      • Lol!!!! I don’t mind the driving, mind you as I get older I find I don’t actually enjoy city driving any more, it’s just a thing that needs to be done sometimes. But I don’t like not being able to get away from the sound of traffic and people when I’m out on a walk!

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      • I think most of Scotland is very peaceful, away from the Central Valley. I love to visit Edinburgh, but prefer further north. I’ve never been to Glasgow, but it doesn’t appeal at all. You live in a lovely place and it sounds as though you are happy there.

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