Burradoo Journal

By Burradoo

Foxy flower

A white foxglove flowering in our garden. As kids we used to put our fingers into the ‘gloves’. Our mothers told us not to, because there might be a bee lurking inside.
The derivation of the word ‘foxglove’ is disputed. It sounds obvious, except that foxes don’t have or need gloves. According to one theory though, foxgloves are so called because foxes put them on their paws to enable them to sneak up noiselessly on their prey. There has been a fox around our back gate lately, but I’m unable to say whether its paws were (fox)gloved.
Foxgloves contain digitalis, which is a poison, as any Agatha Christie fan knows. (Digitalis means 'Finger'.) Apparently Agatha used some thirty poisons, including digitalis, to dispatch about a hundred victims in her stories. She learned her chemistry as a volunteer nurse in World War 1. One can only hope that she always used her knowledge to beneficial effect.

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