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

 

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

UVic research team creating virus-resistant washbasins for post-pandemic world

Civil engineer Rishi Gupta hopes basins will be installed in public spaces

Nanaimo sees Island’s first nurse practitioner primary care clinic

Nexus Primary Care Clinic opened in late June in south end

Nanaimo chef the Sensitive Vegan takes tongue-in-cheek approach to serious cooking

Jesse Rubboli creates cassava-based recipes and shares them via YouTube and on social media

Oak Bay pandemic project gets 300 submissions

Gage Gallery exhibit shows how people cope during crisis

Garden-sharing map connects Victoria landowners and gardeners

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

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help finding missing 19-year-old

Haley Murphy has not been seen since Tuesday, June 30, say police

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

Most Read