Wednesday, May 27, 2009





The foxglove bells, with lolling tongue,
Will not reveal what peals were rung
In Faery, in Faery,
A thousand ages gone.
All the golden clappers hang
As if but now the changes rang;
Only from the mottled throat
Never any echoes float.
Quite forgotten, in the wood,
Pale, crowded steeples rise;
Mary Webb

Foxgloves are thought of as the fairies' flower and their name is a corruption of Folk's-glove. They obviously provided more than gloves for the little folk for they are also known as Fairies'-petticoats, Fairy-caps and Fairies'-dresses. If you see a foxglove bending over, it is because the fairies are hiding in the bells.

The Foxglove's genus name is Digitalis, which means finger-length. Children have always delighted in poking their fingers into the speckled purple blooms.

But Foxglove has a darker side. For centuries it has been widely used as a herbal cure, however, excessive doses are poisonous. In Scotland Foxgloves are called Bloody Fingers and Dead Men's Bells and to har them rung forebodes an early death.

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