Chinese Foxglove

27 Feb

Chinese Foxglove (Rehmannia glutinosa) evergreen to deciduous, slow spreading, 2-3 ft., large pink foxglove-like flowers spring through fall, sun or part shade, cut flower.

From China. Grows 3 ft. tall, 1/2 to 2 ft. wide. Clump of coarse, deeply toothed leaves (evergreen in mild-winter climates) sends up stalks loosely set with tubular, 3-in.-long flowers that look something like big, gaping foxgloves (Digitalis). Common form bears rosy purple blossoms with a yellow throat dotted in red; there is also a fine white form with cream throat that must be grown from cuttings or divisions. Where winters are mild, blooms from mid spring well into fall; in colder climates, bloom comes in summer. Long lasting as a cut flower. Provide rich soil. Easy to grow from seed, root cuttings, divisions.

Rehmannia has been used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Although thorough clinical trials are lacking, rehmannia has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, urticaria (hives), and chronic nephritis (kidney inflammation) in Chinese studies. Rehmannia may also be used to prevent the suppressive effects of corticosteroid (steroid) drugs.

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