Digitalis is a genus of about 20 species of herbaceous perennials, shrubs, and biennials commonly called foxgloves.
This genus was traditionally placed in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae, but recent phylogenetic research has placed it in the much enlarged family Plantaginaceae. This genus is native to western and southwestern Europe, western and central Asia and northwestern Africa. The flowers are produced on a tall spike, are tubular, and vary in colour with species, from purple to pink, white, and yellow. The scientific name means "finger-like" and refers to the ease with which a flower can be fitted over a human fingertip.
The best-known species is the common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea. This biennial plant is often grown as an ornamental plant due to its vivid flowers which range in colour from various purple tints through pink, and purely white. The flowers can also possess various marks and spottings. Other garden-worthy species include D. ferruginea, D. grandiflora, D. lutea and D. parviflora.
The term digitalis is also used for drug preparations that contain cardiac glycosides, particularly one called digoxin, extracted from various plants of this genus. Foxglove has medicinal uses but can also be toxic to humans and other animals