These gorgeous spikes can reach heights of 5 to 6 feet.

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Foxglove is one of the most striking spring- and summertime blooms. The plant's vibrant, towering spikes have drama to spare: They're laden with hollow, pendulous flowers that rise from the garden, creating visual interest with their height, colors, and forms. Foxgloves are a hallmark of cottage gardens, and they're a perfect long-flowering bloom for backyard gardens throughout the South.

Common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is a member of the family Scrophulariaceae. These plants are perennials or biennials that bloom in summer, colorful oases for the eyes amid the sweltering heat of the season. During the flowering months, delicate, brightly colored, tubular blooms appear on tall flower spikes that can reliably grow to reach 4 to 5 feet in height, with some reaching even higher heights in optimal conditions. The blooms themselves grow to be 2 to 3 inches long. The various varieties of foxgloves flower in a rainbow of colors, including red, pink, yellow, white, and purple. In most instances, the interiors of the tubular flowers are speckled with a darker, contrasting color.

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Popular selections of foxgloves to plant include ‘Alba' (white flowers with brown spots) and ‘Apricot Beauty' (pale peach blooms). Popular strains for the garden include Foxy, an annual that blooms within months of planting; Gloxiniiflora, which produces big, open-mouthed flowers; and Shirley, which blooms in a range of hues and reaches 6 feet tall.

According to The Southern Living Garden Book, "Of all the flowering plants with spike-like blooms, foxgloves are perhaps the easiest to grow. They're great for the back of the border or in a mass all by themselves. In most places, they'll live for 1 or 2 years. To ensure beautiful flowers every spring, set out new transplants each year in early summer or autumn." Foxgloves thrive in partial shade with regular water. If you grow foxgloves in your garden, just remember: All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested, so you can look, but don't eat!

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If foxglove is not the most gorgeous summertime bloom, then it's certainly one of them. Do you grow foxgloves in your garden?