Downy Yellow False Foxglove

Aureolaria virginica

Downy Yellow False Foxglove is a perennial found in dry, oak forests. I spotted this plant today (July 13) on a Forest Service road near Poverty Creek/Pandapas Pond Recreation Area.

As the name implies, the stems and leaves of this native are covered in downy hair. The leaves are opposite and quite varied in shape. The lower leaves sometimes have lobes or teeth, while the upper leaves are ovate to lanceolate. The leaf margins may be entire or serrate.

At first glance, the shape of the flowers might remind you of garden foxglove. The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, with five long petals that are fused into a tubular corolla with five spreading lobes. Each flower is one to two inches long, and they occur in a terminal cluster at the top of a stem. Flowers tend to open in the morning and close in the afternoon.

Bloom time for Downy Yellow False Foxglove is summer (July-August) along the eastern half of the United States. Other common names include False Foxglove and Downy Oak Leach. The latter name (leach) refers to the fact that this plant is hemiparasitic on oak trees. Although it is clearly photosynthetic, it derives some of its nutrients from the roots of white oaks.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Beth Adams says:

    very nice! This is a new one for me.

  2. Anne says:

    Does it produce digitalis like regular foxglove?

    1. Gloria says:

      No, I don’t think so!

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