Erik Thorn measures his prize foxglove with a 10-foot long rod that has a yardstick attached on the end. The monster foxglove has reached over 11 feet (or 3.3 metres) when it stands straight up in the morning, he says. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay couple might have world’s tallest foxglove

Duo pleased with 11-foot Digitalus purpurea

It’s not uncommon for foxgloves to grow beyond the average height of about four to six feet.

But it is rare enough that even Ken Marr, the botany curator at the Royal B.C. Museum, called an 11-foot foxglove in the backyard of Miriam and Erik Thorn’s Oak Bay garden a flower “on steroids.”

As it stands, Erik has measured the foxglove, or Digitalis purpurea, in his backyard at over 11 feet in the morning, somewhere around 3.35 meters.

READ ALSO: ‘It’s weird,’ early blooming daffodils spotted in Greater Victoria

“The time to measure it is early, when it stands straight up,” said Erik, from his back garden on St. Patrick Street. “By 10 a.m. it leans over to follow the sun.”

Of course, the flower is still growing and could end up over 12 feet, Erik noted. It was when the Thorns’ son visited recently, and Googled the Digitalus purpurea, that they realized how rare a specimen they might have in their own garden. Two to three metre high foxgloves are heard of, but the tallest foxglove in the Guinness Book of World Records is 10 feet, 10 inches (about 3.3 metres).

“We’ve had this garden since 1965. We’ve never had a foxglove like this,” Miriam said.

Marr confirmed the specimen is Digitalus purpurea based on photos shared by Oak Bay News.

“I’ve not seen plants this tall myself, though two-plus metres wouldn’t surprise me,” he said.

READ ALSO: Match-making service connects gardeners with plots

Digitalis purpurea is poisonous and can be highly dangerous though in the right doses, is used for heart medicine.

At this time, the Thorns have no interest in attempting to have the foxglove registered by the Guinness Book of World Records but they are proud of the flower that they planted from seeds.

“We love having foxgloves and hollyhocks about our garden, they are lovely,” Miriam said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

oak bay

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Erik Thorn measures his prize foxglove with a 10-foot long rod that has a yardstick attached on the end. The monster foxglove has reached over 11 feet (or 3.3 metres) when it stands straight up in the morning, he says. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Garden-sharing map connects Victoria landowners and gardeners

U-Map created by Young Agrarians after COVID-19 created uptick in garden matching requests

Oak Bay Grade 8 students end time at Monterey with drive-through goodbye

School holds socially-distanced completion ceremony

Saanich wins award for climate plan cut from 2020 budget

‘It’s truly an exceptional plan,’ says councillor disappointed with lack of funding

CRD warns of toxic algae bloom at Thetis Lake Regional Park

Visitors advised to avoid swimming in lake, keep pets out of water

Saanich police, pound respond to possible cougar sighting

Cougar possibly seen in area of 4500-block of Chatterton Way

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read