Black or dark foliage/flowers plant list

perennialfan273(zone 5)April 28, 2014

Black (or dark purple) is a color not often seen in plants. However, there are a decent number of plants with dark foliage or flower. With all the amazing breeding programs that we have, the list just keeps getting bigger every year. Please tell us about any interesting plants you have (or are interested in growing).

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Dahlia 'Roxy' and Dahlia 'Happy Single Party' are two I've grown that I chose for their dark purple foliage. Roxy has a lovely bright rose pink flower and HSP has bright yellow flowers. Queen of Night Tulip has a really deep purple flower (but in my garden tulips need protection from the voles, so they aren't too perennial for me), and I also have a single hollyhock that I got from a neighbor (so that I don't know its name) that has the deepest maroon flower I've ever seen.

I have other plants with dark foliage or flowers, but those 4 are the closest to black I've grown.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:15PM
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Black Pearl Pepper, it's an ornamental pepper, grows 2.5 feet tall and the peppers look like shiny large jelly beans; mine did fill out enough to become round. Black leaves and stems...a very interesting plant. In Sept. the peppers start to turn reddish. Just google Nancy Ondra's site and black pearl peppers; she's got some great pics to see.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:35PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

Salvia discolor has my darkest flowers. They are nice plants, but I thought the hummingbirds would enjoy them more than they seem to. It is too dark outside to take a photograph of the blooms tonight, so I provided a link to an online photo.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:14PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Nice idea for a thread. I had been wondering what other dark/purple leaved plants were out there too...

What I grow or have grown:

Actaea Atropurpurea group and NOID one with nearly black leaves
Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'
Euphorbia dulchis 'Chameleon' (invasive)
Geranium 'Midnight Reiter', 'Espresso', 'Elizabeth Anne'
Leptinella 'Platt's Black'
Ligularia 'Othello'
Lysimachia 'Fireworks' (invasive)
Ophiopogon Nigrescens' (died out- not very hardy here)
Penstemon 'Huskars Red'
Sedum 'Emperor's Red', 'Red Cauli' (weak), 'Vera Jameson' (I killed her), 'Xenox'

Snapdragon 'Black Prince'
Lunaria annua 'Rosemary Verey'

There are many Hellebores with black(ish) flowers. I sowed seeds of 'Black Beauty' from a trade, but they turned out pink ;-(
Arisaema...sowed some seed a few years ago of triphyllum, hoping there is at least one blackish streaked one in the group!
Trillium- killed my seedling

On my want list...most are more chocolate-y than purple but...
Disporum 'Night Heron'
Melica 'Atropurpurea'
Polygonatum 'Betberg'
Rodgersia 'Bronze Peacock'

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 11:15PM
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There are a variety of easy black/dark Heuchera to choose from.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 3:37AM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

* Heuchera
* Persian shield (I grow as an annual in my zone)
* Purple basil (grown as an annual in my zone)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:37AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Penstemon âÂÂDark TowersâÂÂ
Sedum âÂÂPurple EmperorâÂÂ
Bronze or Red Lettuces :-)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:30PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

I second Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus). A lovely annual for this zone. Unfortunately, to be a perennial one has to live in zone 9 or warmer.

Though I have not had any success with it, Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis or Lobelia 'Queen Victoria', or L. 'Black Truffle) is lovely.

Heuchera Midnight Rose is a very nice one, IMO.

Not totally surprised the hummers didn't go nuts over the Salvia discolor, GF. Hummers tend to go for the bright reds and oranges.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:25PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

Paul, considering that the deep purple, local hummingbird approved, Salvia 'Amistad' is planted beside the Salvia discolor, I don't thing it is a matter of flower color this time.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 5:39PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Hmm, maybe, maybe not. Perhaps if you place a survey next to the plants for them to fill out?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:04PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

Ha. I already have completed the research, Paul! Throughout the year, I regularly study the individual hummingbirds that visit and hang around my garden, separating them by their unique feather patterns. Most are Allens and Annas, but Rufous and other migrants are not uncommon. Then I determine the individuals' territory/favorite flowers, personality and individual behaviors, and note their trespassing habits into the land claims of other birds. It would be easier if they would do the survey results for me, but then I'd miss out on too much of the fun!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:41PM
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sara82lee(8a - SE Va)

Black Magic elephant ear.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:49PM
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mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Great pic Gyr_Falcon!

Oooh, yes - definitely Black Magic elephant ear! How could I forget that one, I've grown it off an on for many years. There are other great dark-leaved elephant ears, too. I especially like the dark ones with the green veining (the name of my favorite escapes me right now BAH!).

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 6:21AM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Oh, and while many of them aren't THAT dark, how about the dark leaved canna like:
Tropicanna Black'
'General Eisenhower'
'Black Knight'

to name a few?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 4:07PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

Thanks, mxk3. :)

Did I miss someone listing the Black mondo (Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens')? I got curious if anyone had photos of a "black" garden along the lines of a moon garden. I did a quick search for images, but a lot of unrelated stuff came up. It could be interesting, or horrid; I cannot decide, but leaning towards the latter. lol I usually use the dark items only for contrast or focal.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 5:03PM
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Sedum 'Blackjack' is growing in a part sun bed on the north side of my house.
I know--sedum prefers full sun but I wanted something with dark foliage for that spot and 'Blackjack' was all I had available when it came time to plant something. It does flop, chances are due to insufficient hours of sun, but I put a short peony ring around it to help support it. The bees are on it from early morning until sunset once it blooms so I'm not inclined to move it anytime soon.

Given the fact it comes up reliably every season (and has for close to a half dozen years), I'm inclined to leave it where it is, flopping notwithstanding. My S. 'Autumn Joy' is growing in a bed that gets quite a bit more sun and it flops as well. I don't fertilize perennials or over-water them so I'm guessing my acid, sandy loam soil is just too healthy for them.

Some of my tall garden phlox send up nearly black foliage when emerging in spring but I don't recall the foliage retaining the dark hue once the plants begin to bloom later in the growing season.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 8:36PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Dark purple foliage:
Tradescantia pallida âÂÂPurpureaâ / âÂÂPurple Heartâ (spiderwort) reportedly native to Mexico, Louisiana and Florida. Invasive in south FL and other places where it does not freeze. Overwinters well as a houseplant, brightens up other pots.

Dark stem and calyces, medium purple colored flower:
Salvia âÂÂAmistadâ noted above by Gyr_Falcon. My Amistad in the ground died this winter but a broken branch stuck in a pot overwintered just fine in z8b. I covered the pot with a Dupont Frost Blanket when it was 25F or lower during the most severe winter in years. You might try overwintering a cutting of Amistad inside if you were interested. Discovered in Argentina, thought to be a natural hybrid.

Purple Heart flowers
Purple Heart in flowerbed
Amistad flowers

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:26PM
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