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Toxic Plant Profile: Purple Foxglove

July 22, 1988|Clipboard researched by Susan Greene, Henry Rivero, Rick VanderKnyff and Deborrah Wilkinson / Los Angeles Times. Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

PURPLE FOXGLOVE (Digitalis purpurea): Foxglove is the name given to a group of plants belonging the figwort family. The leaves of the purple foxglove contain a powerful poison called digitalis. It can cause loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, slow pulse and irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, fatigue, drowsiness and convulsions. In rare cases it has been known to cause death in children and animals. It is one of nature's ironies that physicians use small amounts of digitalis to treat certain heart diseases.

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