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)

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer load onto barge crane

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary hosts pop-up fundraiser in Sidney

Temporary store to feature unique hand made gifts, collectibles, clothing, books and more

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

SOOKE HISTORY: A peek into the journal of John George Whiffin

Elida Peers | Contributed One of our most popular walks is on… Continue reading

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Most Read