By Alice Soewito

Foxgloves are blooming in the Herb Garden. Based on Scandinavian legend, fairies used these flowers to warn foxes of hunters, and it has appeared in a lot of mythology and folklore.

These tall, finger-like flowers come in a variety of colors at the Herb Garden. Foxglove has a long history of medicinal use for heart and kidney problems, despite being poisonous if misused. The modern heart disease medication Digitalis is derived from Foxglove.

Castor Bean Plant

The castor bean plant can also be found in the Herb Garden in full bloom! Ancient Egyptians pressed oil from the seeds of this plant to burn in lamps. The Egyptians also used the castor bean plant as a cosmetic ingredient and skin emollient. Modern science is exploring how this plant may be used in a cure for the HIV virus.