There are many ways to make your garden into something special. One way that is sure to grab attention is to use exotic black flowering plants or foliage in your garden. Naturally dark foliage has been concentrated in a number of hybrid plants to create breath-taking beauty for the garden. Here is a list of just some of the plants you can use to create drama. Most of these are actually pigmented with dark burgundy or blue colors to give the effect of looking almost like pure black. Use them for accents or group these plants into pools of dark mystery. Or create a shadow garden of dark plants to form a silhouette against a light colored wall.
For a small tree or large shrub, try the Black Elderberry, Sambucus Black Lace™ or Sambucus Black Beauty ‘Gerda’. These elderberries also offer flat panicles of tiny but showy pink or white flowers that contrast with the dark foliage.
Ophiopogon planiscarpus ‘nigrescens’ is a small, flat-leafed plant that looks like deep, black grass. It is called black mondo grass and flowers with small lavender-pink flowers followed by dark berries. This is a slow growing, evergreen (more like ever-black) perennial.
Phormium ‘Black Adder’ is one of the most recent introductions in the world of colorful New Zealand flax plants. It grows modestly to under three feet tall with the blackest foliage offered in these handsome sword-leafed plants.
Black pansy and black petunia are two annuals that offer dark purple flowers that verge on being black. The ‘Black Velvet’ series of petunias are recent introductions that are becoming very popular.
Black Barlow columbine is a dark burgundy-flowered version of the double-flowering Aquilegia. This one is a little more red than some of the more recent black flowers being introduced into the marked.
Aeonium arboreum var atropurpureum ‘Schwarzkopf’ is the black tree aeonium. It is a three-foot branching succulent with leaves of darkest mahogany that grow in a rosette and almost look like flowers – until the plant shoots out its real flowering spikes of bright yellow flowers.
The imperial taro or black caladium (Colocasia esculenta or Colocasia antiquorum var. Illustris) is a moisture-loving plant with large leaves. There are some very black colored cultivars like ‘Illustris’, ‘Jet Black Wonder’ or ‘Black Magic’. These dramatic, arrow shaped leaves can be real attention-getters in damp parts of the garden or in a bog or pond area.
Black Irises come with choices. These are iris flowers with deep purple pigments that can look quite black. The bearded iris ‘Superstition’ is one such plant. Known as black irises are the Middle Eastern Iris nigricans, Iris susiana, Iris petrana and the Iris chrysographes from southern China. They are dark enough to earn their common name.
These are just some of the possibilities you can use to add the drama of black to your garden design. These dark colors add mystery and contrast to any garden. They’re likely to draw attention and comments from anyone discovering them in your garden.
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