Your favorite black/dark red/maroon plant?

alina_1May 17, 2012

I absolutely LOVE bold colors in plants. In my small garden, I collected many dark red/burgundy plants. Here is my list:

1. Dark Peonies

Tree Peony:

Buckeye Belle herbaceous Peony:

2. Several dark Heuchera varieties

3. Some Clematis with really dark flowers:

4. Several shrubs and small trees: Weigela, Sambucus Black Lace, two dark foliage Crape Myrtles.

5. Several dark foliage perennial geraniums.

6. Eucomis - do not remember the name, but it has really dark leaves and returns for me for the third year. A keeper!

7. Ophiopogon p. 'Ebony Night' (Black Mondo Grass)

8. Several bronze/burgundy foliage Dahlias.

9. A couple of black tomatoes :) First year, in containers.

What are your favorite dark ones? Pictures please!!

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'Black Pearl' Ornamental Pepper
Sedum 'Chocolate Drop'
Rose 'Intrique'
Rose 'Tradescant'
Black Hollyhock (Alcea Rosea Nigra)

We also need some gold foliage plant lists too. LOL.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:38PM
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Agree :)
Love gold/dark combo. I wish I can grow spray free roses other than KO here in MD...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea 'Rose Glow'
Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea 'Marshall's Upright' (like a 'Helmond's Pillar' w/berries)
Berberis thunbergii var. atropurpurea 'Bagatelle' (dwarf)
Clematis jackmanii
Clematis 'Niobe'
Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple'
Euphorbia hybrida 'Blackbird'
Heuchera 'Midnight Rose'
Heuchera 'Purple Petticoats'
Heuchera x brizoides 'Plum Pudding'
Hibiscus 'Copper King'
Iris x robusta 'Gerald Darby' (bronze-tinged foliage in spring)
Lagerstroemia indica 'Pink Velour' (Crepe Myrtle)
Ligularia 'Osiris Cafe Noir'
Nandina domestica 'Firepower'
Nandina domestica 'Purple Passion'
Panicum virgatum 'Ruby Ribbons'
Sedum 'Mohrchen'
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'
Weigela florida 'Midnight Wine' (dwarf)
Weigela florida 'Shining Sensation'

Plus, I'm loving the deep rusty-orange foliage of Berberis thunbergii 'Orange Rocket' and the red of Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' (Japanese Blood Grass).

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 3:37PM
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Campanula UK Z8

Knautia macedonica
Chocolate cosmos
Cercis Forest Pansy

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 5:15PM
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river_crossroads z8b Central Louisiana

Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip'
shrub Loropetalum chinense (Chinese fringe)

Nice foliage all year and like how the dark foliage shows off the colorful flowers when in bloom.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 8:41PM
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I love color times I think my scheme could be seen as "gaudy" by others.

Euphorbia 'Bonfire'

A favorite Heuchera 'Cherries Jubilee' with Hosta 'Sum and Substance'

Berberis Crimson Pygmy and Bonanza Gold

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:44PM
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Sedum purple emperor is great for me
Have a couple of Weigela's
Cotinus royal purple
Just planted Ligularia Britt Crawford

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 9:53PM
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for the dark foliage:

eucomis 'Sparkling Burgundy'
penstemon 'Husker's Red'
chocolate eupatorium


    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 2:14PM
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There are several dark foliaged Actea(AKA Cimicifuga) like Brunette (in the upper left corner.)
From June 2010

Ninebark is shrub with several choices that have dark foliage. This is Coppertina, but several have redder, less coppery foliage.
From May, 2011

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:28AM
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Clematis I grow:
Kermesina, a viticella that blooms midsummer to early fall
Gravetye Beauty, same bloom period, but open bells
Niobe, sparse bloom and gets wilt so not recommended.

Just driving through the neighborhood this morning, some woodies:
Japanese maples
Prunus virginiana 'Canada Red'
Many red foliaged crabapples, which will also have deep red fruit
Purple leafed sand cherry
Deep red rhododendrons

Many deep red lilies. If you are bothered by red lily beetles, I have found that the trumpet/oriental hybrids (sometimes called orienpets) aren't bothered by them
Deep red tulips, like Queen of Night

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:34AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

Purple sandcherry

Oak tree from my bedroom window

Blacklace sambucus


    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 11:46PM
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One more woody if you have the space. There are several dark red leafed forms of the European beech tree (Fagus sylvatica), including at least one that is a narrow weeper. Beech are large trees, though, so you really need to be sure that you have the space.

Castor bean has large reddish leaves, though I am not sure if this is all of them or a particular selection. It's an annual and quite toxic if eaten if that might be of concern.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 2:08PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I love the Sambucus but I did not have good luck growing it.

I do have a Ninebark 'Summer Seward's Wine' which I'm crazy about.
It has brown foliage and pink flowers. It is pest and disease tolerant,
It seems to take whatever comes and shrugs it off. I love it's fountain
shape. I love how you can cut it back to the ground if you want to
and it just springs right back up. It's also drought tolerant.

I enjoy dark foliage sedums. I have had 'Matrona' and 'Purple Emperor'
I have had two issues with them. One is that the 'Purple Emperor'
flops open in the middle without enough sun and two, by late in the
summer, some of the leaves can look pretty ratty.
Right now I have two Dark Sedums in a full sun bed that are looking
better than I've ever seen them. They almost have a ruby glow along
the edges of the leaves. I can't figure out if it is the 'Purple Emperor'
or the 'Matrona'. But I'm going to try to get them through to August
without ratty leaves. Maybe pull some off as they deteriorate.

Another vote for Hibiscus 'Kopper King'. A standout.

Weigela 'Wine and Roses' is a new favorite. Pretty brown foliage
with pretty deep pink flowers. Can't wait for it to get larger.

A tomato? ...well, sure.....'Black Cherry' is a very pretty tomato with
a nice dark color to it, but, I don't enjoy the taste as much as others.

I love dark flowered Hellebores, but haven't got one yet.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 7:15PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

prairiemoon2, I had tried Hellebores several times and they died. Finally decided I would not try again until Santa Rosa put them on sale dirt cheap. I think I paid 1.99 last fall. Check them out this fall when they put them on sale.

Now that I know I can grow them sucessfully I will buy more this Fall.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 1:25PM
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Bloodleaf (iresine)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Maggie M.(z7 Sunset7 CA Sierra Foothills)

Knautia macedonia is a trooper, very hardy and not yet on these lists.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Wow, great pictures everyone!

It is so interesting to read these lists.

I have Sedum Purple Emperor and Nandina domestica 'Firepower', but they never have a bold dark red color for me. I did not include them into my list.

Iresine is stunning, but I believe it is annual for most of us...

Marquest and prairiemoon2,
I am surprised that you had trouble growing Hellebores and Sambucus. Both were absolutely easy to grow for me. Maybe, you should give them another try? I highly recommend them:

Sambucus Black Lace (on the right side of the gazebo, in bloom)

Dark Hellebore - a bit faded, but still nice. (on the back, behind the double white one)

And a really cool Asiatic Lily 'Black Out'

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:27AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

marquest, thanks for the photo of that pretty dark Hellebore! I do have a few Hellebores and find them the easiest plant in my garden. They grow well for me in part sun and shadier too. I have a mauve pink and just bought a yellow a couple of years ago. Oh and 'Ivory Prince' last year. I have found Hellebore seedlings at local plant sales for about $4. and that is how I started growing them. Took 3 years to bloom. This year I have about 100 seedlings from my pink one, that I am now potting up. But I had not seen that low a price for a Hellebore anywhere. Thanks for the tip. I really need the contrast of that dark Hellebore.

Yes, everyone's photos are so interesting. I love those Cherry Jubilee Heucheras. I want a 'Royal Purple' Smokebush.

alina, very pretty double Hellebore. I did have both the gold and the dark leaved Sambucus and enjoyed them and then they just deteriorated for me until I yanked them out. I only had part sun to offer them, and not sure if that made the difference. Not sure I'd try them again, but maybe. Yours is a very healthy looking specimen!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:55AM
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My Sambucus grew from a foot long plant to this 8-10' tree in less than 5 years. It does not receive more than 4 hours of direct sun a day. The only problem I have with it is some borers eating branches - not too many, so it is easy to control. And the only maintenance is cutting it back a little when it is growing into gazebo :)

I am a big fan of Hellebores. I spent much more on doubles, but I do not regret - they are stunning. Love the contrast with the dark single ones:

I wish I had more space in my garden for all these fantastic dark shrubs and perennials...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Those are gorgeous Hellebores, alina!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 4:37PM
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Loving all the pretty pics here. is a better, more true to color of the Cherries Jubilee Heuchera that you like.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Thanks Prairiemoon! These pictures were taken two years ago. This year each clump is more than 2.5' across and absolutely gorgeous. Again, highly recommend these perennials - long blooming, beautiful, and stay neat for the rest of the season.

And I think you just made me buy that Copper King hibiscus. Not fair - I was going to downsize my plantings :o)

Gazania, I am blown away with your garden and your pictures - as always :) (saying a mantra 'I do not need more Heucheras... I do not need more Heucheras...)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:26PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

gazania, your heucheras are so nice and dark and vigorous looking and I find the flower color and abundance striking. Do you have them in full sun? What kind of soil?

alina, the Hellebores really do get larger than I expected. You seem to have positioned them with plenty of room, which is great. They really are one of my favorite plants.

That Kopper King Hibiscus, I bought in 2009 and that photo was taken in 2010. I don't have a photo from last year but I think it was even better. I was hoping to see lots of shoots coming up this year, but so far, it looks the same size. But here is a photo of the plant when I bought it in October, with it's fall color. I have not had that great color since it was planted though. This is year three for me, so that will be the test.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 6:58PM
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Alina, thank you for the nice compliment. I don't think it is possible to have too many Heuchers, is it? Please tell me it isn't. Cherries Jubilee has been around a long time. How did you miss it?

Prairiemoon, Cheries Jubilee would be considered in full sun. They are on the East side of the house and get sun from sun up till about 1:30. The soil there is ammended but still has a fair amount of clay. I bought just one plant 11 years ago. I have divided till I now have 5 clumps there in front of the porch. Have not divided any in the last 6 years and the clumps have grown to about 20 to 24 inches wide. The flowering has always been impressive and begins in late May.. lasts till mid July.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:39PM
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I should have noted in the above post that the area where the H.Cherries and hosta are planted recieved 2 to 3 hours of high filtered shade from an American Elm tree till 3 years ago when the tree died. The H.C hasn't missed a beat from that loss, but the hosta is really suffering. I had hoped to move it this spring, but my "digger", for several reasons, could not get to the job quick enough. I guess I will let it suffer another year.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 8:12AM
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That Sambucus is very nice.

Purple/bronze foliage is a major theme in my tropical/mixed bed. The three standout backbone plants are barberry cultivars (including "Helmond Pillar" and a tall variety with horizontal interwoven stems), Cotinus "Royal Purple" and best of all, Physocarpus "Diablo". "Diablo" is putting on its one-week flowering show right now, but its major role is as a superb foliage backdrop for other flowering plants. It is basically bulletproof, needing only occasional pruning to control size (it wants to be massive).

Purple/bronze foliage annuals this year include Cannas "Australia" and "Firebird", Celosia "New Look", Begonia "Big" (bronze-leaf form), Alternanthera "Little Ruby" and Canna "Tropical Red" (bronze-leaf variety).

And yes, red/scarlet flowers are important too.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 8:31AM
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I love my 2 Diablos, but have had a bit of a problem with powder mildew. Has anyone else experienced mildew on Physocarpus

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 9:28AM
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I did order that Copper King hibiscus :)

You know how it goes - I was going to order Hakonechloa 'Fubuki' from Romence Gardens. Then, to make shipping cost more effective, I ordered 3 more plants - Heuchera 'Cajun Fire', Heucherella 'Brass Lantern', and a hibiscus...

Now, I will have to figure out where to squeeze them in the garden...

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 12:06PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks gazania for further info on the Cherries Jubilee. I have not divided enough in my garden and hope to do more this fall. It is so much fun to turn one plant into four!

Alina, a new Copper King, I hope you enjoy it! Look forward to photos.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 5:11PM
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Alina, the iresine is not an annual in my zone. I grew this one from a 5" cutting, and it's very happy where it is. It has to be cut back a few times in the summer or it will take over the garden. I like colored foliage.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 1:25PM
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