Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

Growing plants from other parts of the world is an exciting game of patience. Many plants grown from seed take a while to mature before setting bud.

I first read about Isoplexis canariensis a couple years back. Stories of an illusive Canary Island Foxglove always intrigued me. Luckily we live the modern era where one doesn’t necessarily have to travel to the location of the plant to commence one’s plant science. I eagerly placed an order on http://www.rareplants.de and shortly after received a package in the mail. I sowed the seeds in June of 2012 and have been rewarded with vibrant blooms a mere 14 months later. The whole crop started to flower mid July of this year, I suppose you could call this project a complete success. Unfortunately what does one do with 25 flowering exotic plants that no one really knows exist. These strange plants have flowered for weeks and are still creating buds. Their hardiness probably lies a great deal warmer than Victoria will offer, only time will tell.

Isoplexis growing in Victoria.
Who knew.

Canary Island Foxglove

isoplexis canariensis

isoplexis canariensis

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4 Responses to Plant Science: Isoplexis canariensis

  • Graeme says:

    Jesse – they are indeed related to foxgloves, in fact they have been reclassified into the same genus – this is now Digitalis canariensis. A sterile garden hybrid with the common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, has been created and marketed as ‘Illumination’ (RHS has named all examples of this cross D x valinensis, after the breeder). It is quite pretty and I think a bit smaller than canariensis. D canariensis is borderline hardy in the south of England, and Illumination is hardier. A relative from Madeira, D (I) sceptrum is even more spectacular.

  • Dean Sliger says:

    14 months? I guess I should set up a seed starting spot in the spare bedroom ASAP! Thanks for the info.

  • Jesse says:

    So awesome, are they related to a hardy foxglove I wonder ?. Equally awesome is that cosmic cat shirt you’re wearing on your website picture.

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Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.