Digitalis purpurea 'Candy Mountain'
D. purpurea 'Pam's Split'
Another release from Sahin at Chelsea last year was 'Pam's Split' - an unfortunate name perhaps, but a lovely plant. It combines the dark purple throat and white flowers of the cultivar 'Pam's Choice' with a split corolla, as found in the cultivars 'Saltwood Summer' and 'Anna Radetzky', which have been around for a few years now, and the 2010 introduction from Hilliers, 'Serendipity'. I can claim some credit for 'Pam's Split', as I made the first cross from which Maarten later developed the true-breeding cultivar.The dark lip makes it much more dramatic than the other split-corolla cultivars, I think. Although 'Saltwood Summer' was proclaimed as the first such Foxglove, this mutation has been known since the Nineteenth Century at least. However, it has never been as common as the rather frequently seen peloric mutation in which an enlarged, rounded flower develops at the top of the stem and opens before or with the first flowers - it often causes people to send pictures in to the advice columns of the horticultural press, with a query to the effect of 'what's going on here?'
The plant illustrated below is a peloric form of Digitalis purpurea subsp. heywoodii (which is distinguished by its white-hairy leaves and pale flowers). This clone has been maintained by cuttings for many years, but the typical peloric D. purpurea comes true from seed if isolated.
Peloric clone of Digitalis purpurea subsp. heywoodii
Lastly and leastly is a picture sent to me by Matt Bishop of a Foxglove growing at the Garden House, in which the flowers are reduced to minimal nubs. It is not showy.