Information on Fairy Foxglove

Common Name: Fairy Foxglove
Scientific Name: Erinus alpinus
Irish Name: Méirín sí
Family Group: Veronicaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Fairy Foxglove is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


Lovely little perennial, quite sticky and hairy, Fairy Foxglove grows on old stone walls and is not a very commonly found plant in Ireland.  It only grows to a height of 30cm and is frequently found quite high up on walls, making it difficult to see the detail of it.  However it has most distinctive fleshy leaves (5-20mm) which are long, wedge-shaped and lobed at the tip.  These are mainly in a basal rosette.  The pretty flowers (8-12mm across) have a pink-purple tubular corolla with five notched petal-lobes, the upper two being narrower than the lower three.  These flowers are borne in a loose, short-stalked spike and bloom from May to September.  This is not a native plant, in fact it is native to mountains in Europe.  It belongs to the Scrophulariaceae family.  

I first saw this plant growing on the walls outside Kilkenny Castle in 2006 and I photographed it in Kilmacurragh, Co Wicklow in 2009 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Foxglove, Fairy
Foxglove, Fairy

Also known as Summer Starwort and Star Flower this plant is now a very popular ornamental plant and is commonly found in garden centres