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Berchules, Granada, Spain

27 May 2010

Digitalis obscura or Spanish foxglove

The first time we saw the digitalis obscura was near the Junta de los Ríos en Bérchules, a couple of years ago. This year we saw many on both sides of the road between Bérchules and Cádiar, the first ones flowering three weeks ago. Yesterday we were luckily suprised to see one in full bloom on our own terrain in the shade of a holm oak. In Spanish this digitalis obscura has many synonyms (see list of related key words), the most common being the ´crujia´, ´corregia´, ´digital negra´ and ´dedalera negra´. In Bérchules we heard somebody call it a ´cohetecillo´ as if it were a small rocket let off during the local San Pantaleon fiesta.
The digitalis obscura is a member of the scrophulariaceae (figwort family) and is said to be a notorious element of the Ibero-African flora. On the distribution map of the Anthos Proyect, we can see that it has been observed at the French side of the Pyrenees as well. As it also grows in northern Africa, the English name ´Spanish foxglove´ and the German name ´Spanisher Fingerhut´ are in that sense not really correct. In the publication Flores Silvestres de Andalucía of Gabriel García Guardia we can read that the Latin name ´digitalis obscura´ was already used by botanists in the late Middle Ages and that it was clearly designated in the works of the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs (1501 – 1566) and the Swiss botanist Gaspard Bauhin (1560 – 1624). Nevertheless, it is the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778) who is regarded as the official authority of its name.

Related key words: spanish shrub foxglove, spanish rusty foxglove, black snapdragon, brugia, brugía, brujas, brujía, brujías, clavelina de monte, clavelinas, clavellina de monte, corogia,  corrigia, corrigía, corrijia, corrogia, corrugia, crugia, crugía, crugía fina, crugida, crujia fina, crujija fina, dedal de niña, dedalera, dedalera azafranada, digital, escorrecia, escurrugía, estepilla, gangrenosa, hierba crujiera, hierba de las muelas, hierba de las úlceras, hierba gangrenosa, mansiuleta, quebrantahuesos, yerba crujida, yerba de las herias, yerba de las úlceras, vingerhoedskruid, spaanse vingerhoed, spaanse obscura, helmkruidfamilie, weegbreefamlie, braunwurzgewächse, rachenblütler, scrophulariaceae,  escrofulariáceas, plantaginaceae, plantagináceas

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