My garden, my pride!

The Best Plants With Almost Black Flowers And Leaves

, Admin

Black is the only color that cannot be found in garden plants. And perhaps that's why crops with leaf and flower colors as close to witch's black as possible are so appealing. Like anything rare, they are perceived as unusually spectacular and eye-catching. And even though, in fact, black as night plants are colored in dark shades of purple, blue, purple, their enchanting beauty and a truly magical appeal are inherent in them in full measure. Attracting everyone's attention and admiring, such plants contrast spectacularly with any neighbor and are real rarity stars in both large and small compositions.

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Ophiopogon flatwort 'Nigrescens' in flower garden design. © egardengo

Special magic of rare plants

Plants painted in the darkest shades of both cold and warm tones of the spectrum, despite significant differences in the character and nuances of the colors themselves, produce the same impression in the garden as black in the palette of the artist. Enchanting, exciting, mysterious effect, reminiscent of the darkness of the night, in a garden format never causes anxiety, discouragement or the illusion of danger. For it is the very subtle differences between dark red, inky purple or navy blue with actual true black that give garden plants their truly magical appeal. Only the seemingly black leaves and flowers literally draw the eye and make you endlessly admire the unusual iridescence of shades and uniqueness of color.

The rarity of the witch's black, or rather almost black, color in garden plants turns every, even the most modest crop into a real star. And it is impossible not to admire the beauty of the leaves and flowers. The darkest garden colors stand out against the classic and original greenery and any, even the most dazzling colors, being accents not just spectacular, but absolutely contrasting with any other color in garden plants.

Visually such conventionally black leaves and flowers are a kind of climax, the strongest crowning accent, which has literally a magical effect on garden visitors. And this mysterious fascination is manifested really regardless of the size and style, shape and even complexity of the garden object. In flowerbeds, squares, modest landscape plantings and even in the potted garden such plants still grab everyone's attention.

Nuances of black garden color

The variety of colors of black flowers and leaves in garden plants is not limited to a single color: hardly any color can compete with black in polyvalence, if we speak about garden stars. The color of literally every plant is unique. Their range allows you to choose from crops with almost black colors and just the darkest shades of flowers, which have more shades, transitions, and shades more pronounced. When choosing black-flowered crops you should take into account that the difference between dark red, dark brown, blue-black, dark purple and dark violet can be considerable, because almost black flowers and leaves have a more pronounced coolness or warmth of color.

Additional finesse to such a rare but unusually attractive coloration is given by the surface texture: the velvety, waxy, silky, glossy surface of the petals and leaves makes the character of the base color more or, conversely, less pronounced. Thus, in pansies, it is the texture of the petals that makes the color visually absolute black.

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Busine black 'Eva' (Sambucus nigra 'Eva'). © finegardening

While plants with almost black color still remain real garden rarities, the assortment of such crops is actively expanding and every year more new varieties appear that allow you to bring the witch's charm of black into your garden. The absolute majority of plants with a dark color, seemingly close to black, are either hybrids, or varieties that have undergone a long selection and selection, in which the color was specifically and purposefully brought to the darkest possible.

The best representatives of black garden soloists are represented by such breeding varieties, each of which in its time became a real event and sensation. Let us get acquainted with the best, lovingly created and so precious plants, capable of bringing the deepest shades of close to black color of flowers and leaves to the garden, closer.

11+ "night" stars in garden design

1. Unexpected wig tree

Skumpia common belongs to the underestimated shrubs, which are just beginning to actively use in the design of gardens. But despite the status of a rather aggressive and not so already spectacular plant of large size, this beauty in practice shows itself as one of the most reliable crops. Moreover, even Skumpia leathery, or Cotinus coggygria (Cotinus coggygria) has varieties and decorative forms that can outshine even the most favorite garden exotics by their beauty.

Fans of dark leaves, bringing almost black shades into compositions, should pay attention to the unique variety of this shrub 'Royal Purple'. Its matte, almost rounded leaves are colored in a dark red-purple hue, thanks to which before flowering the curmudgeon seems almost an unearthly vision. The reverse brighter, red side of the young leaves only accentuates the beauty of the dark crown. So does the strikingly harmonious color of the purple inflorescences.

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' (Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'). © Zoran Radosavljevic
The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'. © Carl Lewis
The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'. © Fried Kampes

2. Practically Black Violets

One of the most beautiful, visually perceived as black velvet shades of exceptionally rich tone that can really be mistaken for true black is characteristic of Wittrock Violets or garden pansies (Viola wittrockiana) - those same legendary pansies. In particular, two varieties of these garden babes - 'Black Moon' and 'Molly Sanderson' - are already stars.

They do well both in flower beds and in pots, showing off large luxurious flowers. But to use such plants you must carefully choose the surroundings and place the miniature bushes in the most prominent places, in the foreground. Their tiny size requires an approach literally as precious accents. The black velvet of the flowers makes pansies especially delicate, fragile and delicate (fortunately, only in appearance).

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Wittrock's Violet or Viola wittrockiana 'Black Moon'
The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Wittrock's Violet or Viola wittrockiana 'Molly Sanderson'. © tradgarn

3. The most extravagant of the mallows

With the richness and effect of black velvet petals in violets, only one single crop can compete - Stock Rose Pink (Alcea rosea) of the variety 'Nigra'. It is one of the most popular varieties of annual mallows among gardeners around the world, with its almost emerald leaves contrasting beautifully with the really almost black, large gramophone flowers, whose true color is rather difficult to discern.

Black mallows are fashionable and modern tall vertical accents, which are rightly recognized as the most eye-catching of all garden annuals. This variety is indispensable in opportunities to enrich the structure of flower beds with a contrasting palette and is ideal for the use of black accents in ensembles in modern and expressionist styles. Black mallow is good not only in compositions along walls and fences, but also in any flower beds.

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Stockrose 'Nigra' (Alcea rosea 'Nigra'). © picclick

4. "Nocturnal" lilies

Some black varieties can also be found among the tall and medium-grown garden Lilies (Hemerocallis). The unique 'Black Angus' variety with its ink-black petals and bright lemon green can compete in color saturation with the more popular black-red variety 'Black Widow'. But the number of black lilies is not limited to them alone:

  • the variety 'Black Panther' with thin corrugated petals with a bright yellow-pink veined ray is rare in our country, but it is worth looking for;
  • Brownish-black with orange shed variety 'Africa' deserves praise and for the nuances of color, and for the quick growth;
The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Lilinium 'Algebra of Darkness' (Hemerocallis 'Algebra of Darkness'). © Curt Hanson

5. Iris with watercolor-black flowers

The unique bearded Iris (Iris) variety 'Black Madonna' is also very often called black velvet. It is a truly exceptional specimen in beauty of blooming, which is a rarity not only because of its coloring, but also because of its great price. It is very rare to find it on sale and belongs to the collection varieties of these garden favorites. Of course, its color is not pure black, but varies from inky to ultramarine, varying depending on conditions and care and differing in each inflorescence.

But if you haven't met the 'Black Madonna', don't be in a hurry to get upset. Luxury perfection of iris flowers in a black version can also offer much more affordable varieties. The watercolor iridescence of their flowers at close range is also perceived literally as something exceptional. And this effect is made all the more dazzling by the fact that black is so rare among garden irises that it makes each plant a real pride of the collection.

Different shades of nearly black are characteristic of such irises as:

  • the tall, blue-glowing 'Black Butte';
  • often advertised as the blackest of all black irises, 'Before the Storm';
  • the equally legendary black variety, 'Black Suited';
  • the strongly corrugated cherry black variety 'Dracula's Kiss';
  • the black with yellow backlight variety 'Men in Black';
  • the purple-black iris 'The Magic Black'.
The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Iris 'Dracula's Kiss'. © ladedacreations
The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Iris 'Black Suited' (Iris 'Black Suited'). © Betty
The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Iris 'Black Butte' (Iris 'Black Butte'). © Elladan

6. Painted Black Butte

Geraniums can safely be called one of the best partners for perennials in the variation of leaf coloration. But among these tireless and hardy beauties, capable of enchanting with the beauty of the carved edges of the leaf plates in curly, joyful bushes, there is a special star whose color is truly unique. Garden Geranium (Geranium) of the variety 'Chocolate Candy' is not yet found so often in our catalogs, but quite justifies its high price and status of an exceptional plant.

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Geranium garden "Chocolate Candy" (Geranium x antipodeum 'Chocolate Candy'). © Geoff

7. Unconventional Sedum

Another classic garden partner plant is Sedum telephium (Sedum telephium), it also boasts a special variety with an almost black coloration. The dense, fleshy leaves of the "Matrona" (Matrona) variety of oleocysts are a mauve-red hue and contrast beautifully with the classic oleocyst partners. The inflorescences, which are only a few shades lighter in color, and the pedicels and stems, even darker than the leaves, only increase the inky effect of this plant.

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Sedum telephium 'Purple Emperor'. © walterblom

8. Graphite Ophiopogon

One of the most beautiful cool shades of almost black is characteristic of the leaves of Ophiopogon planiscapus or Ophiopogon planiscapus cultivar 'Nigrescens' (Ophiopogon planiscapus). It's hard to call this plant a super-popular cereal, but it's quite comparable to Hakonehloa in its ornamental qualities and talents. If you once plant it in your garden, you will no longer be able to imagine a complete flower garden without the noble greenery, or rather the gray graphicality of this variety of ophiopogon. Its blue-black leaves, which seem to absorb all the shades of the night sky, form dark-grey, graphite-like shrubs from a distance, which look good on their own or in borders.

Ophiopogons arrange rare in beauty textural accents and create an inimitable background for spectacular flowering garden plants. Not without reason, this cereal is now considered one of the best partners for abundantly blooming perennials with white or light pink coloration. This plant combines the usual picturesqueness and constant movement, the beauty of the textures of dense turf typical of all grasses, with the effect of an unexpected, almost black color of flat grass leaves. At the same time, the texture and density of the plant itself further enhances the effect of the glossy sheen of the leaves and its unusualness.

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Blackening' (Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'). © J Brew

9. Humble and talented Purgatory

A relatively rare miniature perennial Spring Purgatory (Ficaria verna) is also found. To appreciate its beauty, it does not need any company: it can be quite called a more than self-sufficient crop. This unique plant gives you the chance to admire the perfect, dazzling contrast between the leaves and flowers of the purpurea form and the dark-leaved varieties 'Brazen Hussy' and 'Coppernob'.

The dark purple, black in the shade and almost black against the background, rather large bud-like leaves of this plant in compact rosettes create strikingly effective mats. But despite the fact that the foliage of this plant itself is a spectacular decoration of any garden, you can appreciate all the irregularity of the peeler only during flowering. The yellow baskets appear to be little stars or suns scattered against the strikingly dark foliage. The dazzling inflorescences make the cool shades of green color shine in a new way.

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Ficaria verna 'Brazen Hussy' (Ficaria verna 'Brazen Hussy'). © Sian Rees

10. Black Fox's Tail

Although Amaranthus (Amaranthus) or fox's tail is cultivated primarily for the beauty of its furry sultanas-flowers, One of its varieties, Oeschberg, does not have purple-red flowers, but rich, dark leaves, which look almost black in the sun, creating strikingly luxuriant shrubs. This unique amaranth can become a large accent in any composition and will fully justify all the efforts spent on growing the annual. It's difficult even to imagine such a spectacular contrast between the large, massive, luxuriantly-velvet inflorescences and glossy black foliage. © jacki-dee

11. Unpretentious basil and unusual yams

Black plants can be brought into a composition even with such humble and seemingly purely useful plants as Scented basil (Ocimum basilicum). Few other plants in the spicy herb category can match it in the richness of its variety palette. The unique red-leaved basil variety 'Purpureum' has long been a legend in both cookery and landscape design. Its shiny leaves look extravagant and unusually showy in pots, in flowerbeds, and in seedbeds, making it possible to put bold accents in compositions of any format and add unexpected touches to garden design without much expense or effort.

Of the number of useful or vegetable crops, only Batatas (Ipomoea batatas) of the 'Blacky' variety can compete with basil in black effect, with a leaf hue reminiscent of the best dark basil varieties. Although it has a much larger bush and more flexible shoots, it has a similar effect. And it can also be grown in pots as well as in beds.

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Basil 'Purple Ruffles' (Ocimum basilicum 'Purple Ruffles')

Rarities should be used wisely

You buy at least one plant with a dark color and introduce it into your flower bed, and immediately you want to turn into a passionate collector and only increase the assortment of such plants. But the special, magical effect of these plants on garden ensembles is largely due to their rarity and exclusivity, not found on every corner beauty. And for your black stars to truly become the main accents and pride of your garden, you must respect their status and use them wisely. No matter how much you are attracted to them and how much you love them, you should never create a whole flower bed of plants with dark colors. And if you go too far with them, the mysterious aura of magical attraction will be lost and practically nothing will remain of the incomprehensible, witch-like beauty. You will realise in time just how gloomy and even dull black would be if it were more common in garden plants. In order for such plants to retain their uniqueness and reveal their beauty, they must remain rare eye-catching stars that crown compositions and are used literally by the piece.

Black accents contrast with any garden plants, whether they are bright flowering stars, ornamental-leaved crops or just modest partner perennials and shrubs in question. But you can make their dark shades even more striking by a special selection of surrounding partner plants which create the perfect background and make the dark shades even more attractive. White inflorescences, silvery gray leaves, crops with light pink, sunny yellow and rich, acrylic orange have always been the ideal complement to almost black leaves and flowers.

The best plants with almost black flowers and leaves
Dahlia 'Yellow Hammer' (Dahlia 'Yellow Hammer')

And if you use black crops as a repeating motif, and if you choose to introduce just a single plant into your flower bed or flower bed, special attention must be paid to location. After all, plants with nearly black leaves and flowers will only play their part where they are immediately conspicuous and can be freely viewed from any position. Such crops have no place in the middle and background, in the far corners of the garden, in objects located away from resting places and paths.

Black, or rather close to it shades of garden plants, are perceived only from a short distance. And seem all the more magical the more accessible they are to view, the closer they are to you. Places by the terrace, in the front flower bed, in the front garden, in the potted areas, where everyone can pay them the attention they deserve and where they will not go unnoticed, are the best reference points. Even with ampelous plants or potted crops they are placed at eye level and in the foreground.