Black Flowers and Foliage for Gardens

‘Black is the new Black’
Black coral pea

As a child did you read ‘The Black Tulip’ or try to grow a black rose? Well here are some tips to help you grow black plants in your garden’. Most of my black plants unfortunately are black because they are dead but that still leaves lots of other varieties to choose from.


  • Certain dark purple leaves look almost black including Cotinus Smoke Tree ‘Royal Purple’, Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ and Purple Beech Fagus Atropurpurea
  • New Zealand flax phormium tenax has various purple varieties. There are also black mondo grasses nigrescens.
  • If you want black in the fruit and vegetable garden try a grape vine ‘Purpurea’ or bronze fennel. If space permits the Black Walnut tree has black fissured bark.


  • Hollyhocks have a black variety not surprisingly called ‘Nigra’ latin nameĀ  Alcea rosea
  • Cosmos atrosanguineus
  • Bowles Black violas are very popular and freely available
  • Nemophilia menziesii ‘Pennie Black’ is grown from seed and has deep purple to black centres with white edges
  • Dianthus ‘Black & White Minstrels‘ is also available as seeds from Thompson Morgan
  • Fritillaria persica are dark flowered and provide a contrast with other flowers
  • Aquilegia ‘Black Barlow’ – Fully double violet-black flowers, are produced in late spring like small pompoms sat atop stiff, upright stems
  • Tulips are still striving to be true black but ‘Queen of the Night’, Black Charm and Recreado come close.
  • Iris ‘Black Taffeta’ – Part of the Alan Titchmarsh Collection
  • Scabious Ace of Spades is virtually black and has fragrant blooms that attract bees and butterflies whilst making impressive cut flowers.
  • Hollyhock ‘Nigra’- Superbly dramatic; the tall spires bear dark maroon-black flowers
  • More black flower seeds at Thompson & Morgan
  • Black Grass

Book Cover
Black Plants: 75 Striking Choices for the Garden by Paul Bonine

Photo credits
Black coral pea by Kew on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 ‘The delicate black flowers of the black coral pea (Kennedia nigricans) climbing the pillars in the main section of the Temperate House’



  1. Tips for Growing Scabious – Scabiosa | Gardeners Tips - April 25, 2012

    […] a black flower Scabious Ace of Spades has fragrant blooms that attract bees and butterflies whilst making […]

  2. Dark Helleborus Purpurascens | Gardeners Tips - June 6, 2012

    […] lovely Helleborus could be planted in a ‘black flower’ garden it is so […]

  3. Fritillaria or Fritillary Flowers | Gardeners Tips - June 6, 2012

    […] Other species to look out for include the small Fritillaria tubiformis and its hybrids, Fritillaria verticillata with white bells on a taller plant and Fritillaria camschatcensis (the Black Sarana) with a very dark maroon almost black flower. […]

  4. Black Grass Ophiopogon planiscapus Nigresens | Gardeners Tips - October 24, 2012

    […] to grow but occasionally slow to spread. It makes a gothic garden feature or fits in well with a ‘black foliage and flower garden’. The straplike, shiny black foliage grows in little tufts and combines well with many other plants. […]

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