Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.
In the shade of the Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense), at the southwest corner of Wave Hill House, is a mass of yellow-brown, upright flower spikes. They belong to the aptly named rusty foxglove family, a native of Southeast Europe and West Asia.
Digitalis ferruginea ‘Gigantea’, a rusty foxglove cultivar, blooms a little later than its relative, the familiar, pink-flowered common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), and the display can continue well into July.
Covered as they are with rank upon rank of curiously-colored flowers, these tall and slender stems, when seen in so large a cluster, produce an extraordinary effect.