Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...
, shrubs, and biennials
A biennial plant is a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological lifecycle. In the first year the plant grows leaves, stems, and roots , then it enters a period of dormancy over the colder months. Usually the stem remains very short and the leaves are low to the ground, forming...
that are commonly called foxgloves. This genus was traditionally placed in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae
Scrophulariaceae, the figwort family, are a family of flowering plants. The plants are annual or perennial herbs with flowers with bilateral or rarely radial symmetry. Members of the Scrophulariaceae have a cosmopolitan distribution, with the majority found in temperate areas, including...
, but recent reviews of phylogenetic research have placed it in the much enlarged family Plantaginaceae
Plantaginaceae Juss. or plantain family, are a family of flowering plants in the order Lamiales. The type genus is Plantago L..In older classifications it used to be the only family of the order Plantaginales, but numerous phylogenetic studies, summarized by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, have...
. This genus is native to western and south western Europe, western and central Asia, and northwestern Africa. The scientific name means "finger-like" and refers to the ease with which a flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...
of Digitalis purpurea can be fitted over a human fingertip.