Digitalis Purpurea


Digitalis purpurea has several different interactions with a wide variety of organisms, ranging from fungus to humans. Some of these interactions benefit the common foxglove, while others benefit the other organism, whille some benefit both, and others can even do harm to the other organism.

First of all, there are the interactions that the common foxglove has with fungus, to be specific, fungus in the phylum Glomeromycota. Fungus in this phylum form endomycorrhizae with nearly 90% of plants. Endomycorrihzae are formed when the fungus create hyphae that penetrate the roots of plants to form a mutualistic relationship with plants. This means that not only does the plant benefit, but the fungus benefits as well. The fungus helps the plant roots acquire more food with their absorbing abilities and the plants provide the fungus with sugars. To learn more about other kinds of fascninating fungi see Psilocybe cubensis, Ganoderma lucidum, and Lycoperdon pyriforme.

Then there are the interactions that Digitalis purpurea has with members of the animal kingdom as well as other plants. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, all benefit from the common foxglove by feeding off of their nectar. Also, the common foxglove benefits from these interactions because when these organisms feed on the nectar, pollen attaches to them. Then they go to other plants to feed on their nectar, thus dropping off the nectar from the first plant, pollinating it. All in all, these organisms help spread the pollen of the common foxglove. Then there are other plants that benefit from the common foxglove. Digitalis purpurea stimulates the growth of surrounding plants, especially pine trees.

Lastly, there are the interactions that the common foxglove has with us, humans. As mentioned before, it produces a toxin that can be very deadly if not used correctly. So, it can be very dangerous to humans and other animals that might try to eat Digitalis purpurea. However, William Withering discovered how this amazing plant can be beneficial to people, like aiding in heart failure, reducing dropsy, and increasing urine flow.

To learn more interesting facts about Digitalis purpurea go here Facts.