Handling Foxglove - Knowledgebase Question

Amherst, Ma
Question by Tccoleman
March 16, 2010
I just started some foxglove from seed. I recently learned that foxglove is toxic! It's some type of heart medication. Is it ok to handle these seedlings when I'm transplanting them? At what point do they develop that toxic chemical? I would ditch them, but they are very pretty!

Answer from NGA
March 16, 2010


Handling the plants or the leaves won't harm you but ingesting the plant parts, especially the seeds, can cause damage to your liver. I think you're safe in having the plants in the garden. If you're concerned, wash your hands well after handling the plants - and don't put the leaves, stems or flowers into your mouth! Foxglove is a very popular garden plant and the only cases of toxicity I know of have been from people deliberately eating the plant. Best wishes with your foxglove plants.

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