Snapdragon properties and toxicity

(Digitalis obscura)


Scientific noun: Digitalis obscura L.

Common noun: Black snapdragon

Family: Figwort family – Scrophulariaceae

Habitat: Mediterranean Europe. It grows in dry, rocky places.

Components: Cardiotonic glycoside (digitoxigenine, digoxigenine and gitoxigenine)

Active parts: The whole plant.

What is black snapdragon like?

Digitalis obscura is a perennial shrub of the Figwort Family- Scrophulariaceae – up to 60cm.

It has glabrous stems, erect with little leaves below, more dense above.

Leaves are bright, lanceolate, acute and coriaceous.

Flowers appear gathered in racemes placed at the same side of the floral axis., dark orange, with spots inside and with hairy margin, from 2 to 3 cm long.

Its fruit is a capsule, longer than the calyx.

Photo of black snapdragon

Photo of Digitalis obscura


Medicinal uses of Digitalis obscura

It has been used as a cardiotonic.

In homemade remedies, although it is not longer in use, it has also been used as a diuretic, favouring the regulation of heart pulse, either in case of arrithmia or when heart beating too fast or too slow.

It must not be used in home preparations anymore because it is a dangerous plant with a little range of use.

Black snapdragon

Drawings of different parts of the plant

By courtesy of ©

Toxicity of black snapdragon

Toxicity of Digitalis obscura is high. Poisoning has been reported when chewing its leaves or eating its seeds.

Side effects of black snapdragon

Poisoning with this plant shows the following symptoms in minor ingestions:

– Digestive disorders

– Stomachache

– Vomiting

In greater doses:

– Painful breathing

– Fever

– General tiredness,

– Hypothermia

– Vertigo

– Reduction of pulse beat and heart failur

punto rojo More information about plants.

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

15 February, 2022

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical-online" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.