I'm trying to find out what type of flower this is, what the black spots are and if they're normal. They appear to be seeds but I cannot tell for sure.

I am in the Northwestern United States, hardiness zone 7B.


2 Answers 2


This is a Foxglove (Digitalis sp.), probably the Common Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) which is native to Europe and western Asia, but has naturalized throughout much of north America.

Identifying characteristics are:

  • the tubular flower, spirally arranged on the stem
  • the lines of spots that you noticed leading to the back of the flower

The black spots inside the flower are normal and form what is called a "nectar guide". They are fluorescent and they show up brightly in ultraviolet light. Bees can see ultraviolet so the spots lead the bees into the flower where they can take the nectar and pollinate the flower.

  • Fantastic! Can you provide a source on the fluorescent spotting? I'd love to learn more about it.
    – matt.
    May 22, 2016 at 20:06
  • 1
    Added another link. A Google search for google.com/webhp?q=foxglove+ultraviolet+bees has some links with more information.
    – Niall C.
    May 22, 2016 at 20:20

This is Foxglove, and you should know this is VERY VERY TOXIC! Since you didn't know what plant this, please make sure to not eat it, and wash your hands after touching.

(This doesn't answer the question, downvote, I don't care, but I can't comment and don't want someone to die)

  • Why do you think it doesn't it answer the question? Seems to me it does. May 23, 2016 at 4:48
  • @GrahamChiu Agreed, a little editing and some more information on the toxin and proper handling would be a great. Stegosaurus I didn't touch the flower just took pictures. :)
    – matt.
    May 23, 2016 at 4:49

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