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Agalinis purpurea (Purple False Foxglove)

Purple False Foxglove, Purple Gerardia, Gerardia, Agalinis purpurea var. carteri, Gerardia purpurea, Gerardia purpurea ssp. parvula, Gerardia purpurea var. carteri, Gerardia purpurea var. grandiflora

Agalinis purpurea, Purple False Foxglove, Purple Gerardia, Gerardia, Shade Plants, Shade Flowers
Agalinis purpurea, Purple False Foxglove, Purple Gerardia, Gerardia, Shade Plants, Shade Flowers

Agalinis purpurea, commonly known as the Purple False Foxglove, is a delicate and graceful wildflower. With its slender stems and vibrant purple blooms, it’s a visual treat in the places it calls home.

Agalinis purpurea: An In-depth Look

Purple False Foxglove belongs to the Orobanchaceae family, which includes many parasitic plants. Agalinis purpurea is hemiparasitic, meaning while it can photosynthesize on its own, it often taps into the roots of other plants for extra nourishment.

Native: Purple False Foxglove is a native annual found in woodlands, roadsides and open areas in the eastern United States and Canada.

Plant Type and Habit: It’s an herbaceous annual plant. The plant has a slender and upright growth pattern, often appearing almost fragile due to its thin stems.

Size: Typically, Agalinis purpurea can reach a height of 1-4 feet (30-120 cm) and spread up to a foot (30 cm).

Flowers: The flowers are tubular and adopt a striking shade of lavender or pinkish-purple with distinct darker spots on the petals. They closely resemble those of foxgloves, hence the common name. This plant flowers late in the summer to early fall.

Fruits: After flowering, the plant produces tiny, rounded capsules containing several seeds that are dispersed by the wind in the fall.

Foliage: The foliage is dark green, sometimes with a slight reddish tint. Leaves are opposite, linear, and can be up to 3 inches long (7 cm).

Hardiness: This annual plant can be grown in USDA zones 3-11.

Uses: Beyond its ornamental qualities, its significance primarily lies in ecological and restorative purposes, particularly in prairie or meadow restoration projects. It is a good choice for naturalized areas, woodlands, butterfly gardens, native plant gardens or pollinator gardens.

Wildlife: The tubular flowers attract a variety of pollinators, especially bees and butterflies. Syrphid flies feed on pollen.

Deer and Rabbits: While not a primary choice for browsing, deer might nibble on it occasionally. Rabbits may also sample it, though it’s not their favored feed.

Toxicity: There’s no widespread documentation about its toxicity to humans or pets, but it’s always advisable to avoid ingestion and exercise general caution.

Invasiveness: While it can self-seed prolifically under ideal conditions, it’s not typically considered invasive. Instead, it’s often seen as an asset in native plantings and restorative habitats.

Benefits: The primary benefits of Agalinis purpurea include its ornamental value, its role in supporting pollinators, and its place in habitat restorations.

How to Grow and Care for Purple False Foxglove

Light: Prefers full sun but can tolerate light shade.

Soil: Enjoys acidic to neutral, moist but well-draining soil.

Water: Requires consistent moisture, especially in dry periods. Avoid letting the soil dry out completely.

Fertilizer: Typically doesn’t require much fertilization, especially if planted in nutrient-rich soil.

Pruning: Prune back after flowering to maintain shape and encourage bushier growth.

Propagation: Easily propagated by seeds. Allow seed capsules to mature on the plant for natural reseeding.

Pests and Diseases: No serious pest or disease issues.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 11
Plant Type Annuals
Plant Family Orobanchaceae
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 4'
(30cm - 120cm)
Spread 1' (30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Sand, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Maryland, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan, Minnesota, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas
Attracts Butterflies, Bees
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 11
Plant Type Annuals
Plant Family Orobanchaceae
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 4'
(30cm - 120cm)
Spread 1' (30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Sand, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Maryland, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan, Minnesota, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas
Attracts Butterflies, Bees
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

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