Asystasia Gangetica

Creeping Foxglove

creeping foxglove

The Creeping Foxglove is an attractive but very vigorous ground cover that tolerates quite a sunny position but grows exceptionally well in shade, and is thus useful when one needs to cover large areas under shade. In deep shade it flowers sparsely but will bear a lot more flowers in a more sunny position. It is quite hardy but the leaves can die back to soil level if subjected to frost, however, it will then regenerate in spring.

It has dark green leaves, grows to a height of 15 to 20cm, and bears spikes of white foxglove-like flowers from March to October. The petals have purple streaks in them that act as nectar guides for the host of birds and insects that visit them. For those who are interested in creating a wildlife friendly garden this plant is a ‘must have’.

It is a host to about seven different butterfly species and the insects that are attracted to the flowers are an important food source for frogs, lizards and insect eating birds. Plant it in humus rich soil, especially if planted under trees. It can grow up the stems of the trees and needs regular pruning back. It is also attractive and easy to grow in a hanging basket. The leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach.

The Gardener