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Foxglove, The Trickster

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

Magical Plants #1

I'm not going to lie - I don't particularly like foxglove. Don't get me wrong, I think it's beautiful, but it doesn't bring me much joy when I look at it. And yes, that does make it a very strange choice to launch my Plant Magic collection. But I felt called to paint it, so paint it I did.

Foxglove, scientific name Digitalis purpurea, is a deceptively beautiful flower. The entire plant is toxic to humans, yet it's extremely popular with gardeners. Despite the fact that it can really fuck up a person's heart and make them extremely sick, it is also a powerful heart medicine. In fact, it is used to produce Digoxin, which is used to treat congestive heart failure, among other cardiac problems.

So why exactly, do I call it The Trickster?

Foxgloves are associated with foxes - the idea being that they can put their little paws into a flower, which will then muffle their footsteps. Which is just about the cutest thing I can imagine. FOX MITTENS!!!

The flowers are also connected with fairies. They are known as fairy thimbles, fairy caps, and fairy gloves. I guess the size of the fae in question would determine what they could use the flowers for. Additionally, there is a tale that fairies taught foxes to ring the flowers like bells to warn each other when humans were coming.

Both foxes and fairies are well-known as tricksters in folklore. Combining that with its contradictory effects on the human body, it's quite clear to me that this flower enjoys a little bit of chaos.

Using the energy of foxglove

As I said above, I don't love foxglove. But then, I generally don't appreciate trickster energy. April Fools' Day is my least favorite holiday, practical jokes make me cringe, and I don't particularly appreciate chaos. But my feelings on this are far from universal.

Hang this painting in your home if you want to work with the fae. Don't forget to leave physical offerings nearby so that they don't play their tricks on you!

It's also helpful if you need to heal a broken heart, but be warned: it's not a gentle type of healing. This is for when your heart hurts so much that you feel like you could actually die. Like a floral defibrillator, it can shock you back into limping along. And sometimes we all need that.


I am currently suffering from a lack of books. I recently had a house fire, and literally all of my books are in storage while my house is being fixed. So I don't have my resource library of medicinal and magical plants. In a few months, I'll post an update when I have access to sources I'm confident in. Meanwhile, I used the entry on foxglove, as well as webMD.

Please note that although I have a background in herbal medicine, nothing I publish on my blog or website should be construed as medical advice. And while I'm at it, it's not legal or financial advice either. Whatever you do, don't eat foxglove, and wash your hands carefully if you touch it.

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