Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by Clarisse Walters
List of Black Plants
- Black Coral Bell
- Black Dahlia
- Black Lace Elderberry
- Black Magic Colocasia
- Black Pansy
- Black Rose Aeonium
- Black Roses
- Black Tulip
- Black Velvet Alocasia
- Nigra Hollyhock
Are there any naturally black plants?
Though it seems like an odd colour for a plant, there are several species that look black. Generally speaking, black varieties are more common amongst perennials. Examples include the Black Lace Elderberry and Colocasia Black Magic. Black annual plants and flowers are rarer and usually the result of extensive cultivation.
What plant has black flowers?
There are no plants with truly black flowers. Flowers that appear black are in fact a very deep purple, which is generated by a pigment known as anthocyanin. Examples of flowers that contain high levels of anthocyanin are the Black Tulip, Black Roses, the Nigra Hollyhock, and the Black Dahlia.
Are there any plants with black leaves?
In nature, plants with black leaves are more common than those with black flowers. In general, however, black plants are rare. Most black shrubs and flowers you see are in fact varieties that have been specially cultivated for their appearance. A good example of this is the Black Coral Bell.
What house plant has black leaves?
As we discussed earlier, plants with black leaves or black flowers are quite rare in nature – and many of those that do exist are outdoor perennials. Nonetheless, there are a select few house plants with black leaves. Two particularly beautiful varieties are the Black Rose Aeonium and Black Velvet Alocasia.
House plants with black leaves:
- Burgundy Rubber Tree
- Jewel Orchid (Ludisia discolor)
- Raven zz plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
- Echeveria “Black prince”
- Black fancy Begonia
1. Black Coral Bell
The Black Coral Bell is an exceptionally dark variety of the North American Coral Bell plant, Heuchera sanguinea. This species comes in a number of varieties and is popular as a perennial garden plant. Owing to its appeal are its large, ornamental leaves and delicate flowers.
Growing readily in temperate and even cold climates, Coral Bells can withstand winter frosts and grow well even if the summers are mild. Coral Bells blend in perfectly to natural – looking gardens, but do need partial shade to thrive. When established in a setting like this, these plants need very little care and can easily be divided in the spring. Nonetheless, cutting back any winter die off will help them look their best.
2. Black Dahlia
Black Dahlias are deep purple cultivars of Dahlia plants. Dahlias belong to several species, all of which are in the Daisy family (Asteraceae). This group also contains Sunflowers, Thistles and Artichokes, along with many other economically important flowers and crops.
Of the selectively bred dark varieties the most common is arguably the ‘Black Narcissus’ Dahlia, which has large, heavy flowers. Growing to a height of 90 to 100 cm, the Black Narcissus is an impressive edition to any flower bed.
Though they are a perennial, it is worth noting that they will not withstand hard frosts. In cooler regions, their tubers must be overwintered indoors, or they may die off. In southern or oceanic climate zones the tubers can be left out but are still vulnerable to rot.
3. Black Lace Elderberry
The Elder is a small tree, very familiar to those of European background as an ingredient in jams, wine, and cordials. Having a long history as a cultivated plant, Elder (Sambucus nigra) produces bunches of deep purple berries. At full size, it reaches a height of 20 feet (6m) or more and makes an appealing addition to a country garden.
Although it does produce berries, the Black Lace Elderberry is more commonly grown for its ornamental value. Its leaves are lacey and a deep blackish purple. Having the size and density of other Elders it quickly becomes an impressive shrub if planted in a well-drained spot with full sun. if you don’t want it to grow larger than a shrub, the Black Lace will tolerate pruning in spring.
4. Black Magic Colocasia
The Black Magic is in fact an ornamental cultivar of the Taro (Colocasia esculenta), a food crop grown widely across Asia and the South Pacific. Also known as Yam, Taro is a member of the Araceae family, which contains hundreds of tuberous species. Many of these are popular ornamental plants rather than food.
This is certainly the case with the Black Magic Colocasia, whose broad, arrow shaped leaves turn a deep purple when fully grown. When looking from a distance, this gives the appearance of a large, black ornamental. Colocasia regularly grow to 6 feet tall (almost 2m) and make an impressive addition to the back of a flower bed or edge of a pond. Though perennial, they are tender to frost and will need to be covered in winter.
You can read more about the differences between Alocasia and Colocasia on our Flowers that start with X article.
5. Black Pansy
Pansies are an exceedingly popular and decorative flower in temperate climates. Growing to a small size, they are usually planted at the front of flower beds and regularly feature in parks and other public gardens. In fact, their only real drawback is that they often only grow well for up to two years in cooler climates.
All garden pansies are in fact hybrids between various species of wild plants in the Viola genus. These have been developed into a variety of cultivars, of which the Black Pansies are quite possibly the most striking. Seeds and plugs for these varieties are readily available for sale, though admittedly at a higher price than most others.
6. Black Rose Aeonium
Aeoniums are a genus of small, succulent plants native to Northwest Africa and the Canary Islands. As such they do best in warm, dry climates like those found in the Mediterranean Basin, South Africa, California, Chile, and Australia. They do not tolerate excessive moisture or any frost whatsoever.
In cooler climates, they do best as houseplants and will be perennial if placed in a warm spot with direct sunlight. During the summer they can be put outside in pots and brought back in before the first frost. As they are succulent, be careful to avoid overwatering.
Though they have pretty yellow flowers, the Black Rose Aeonium, also known as the Zwartkop variety, is mainly popular for its intense black leaves.
7. Black Roses
As one of the world’s most widely cultivated flowers, Roses clearly need no introduction. Nonetheless, every poem, piece of art, or cultural reference we hear about them seems to pertain to red roses… But what about Black Roses?
Well, you can’t obtain a pure Black Rose naturally as they lack the pigment necessary. You can however cultivate them to become progressively deeper in colour, until they are such a deep red or purple that they look black.
Using this method, several varieties of Black Rose that have been developed over the years. Of these, the most deeply purple – and therefore black – is probably the Black Baccara Rose. If you wish to grow this variety, be advised that it attains its darkest colour during cool weather.
8. Black Tulip
Another widely cultivated and economically important flower is the Tulip. In fact, Tulip exports from Holland alone are worth over 200 million Euros a year, or over 220 million USD. Tulips are to be found in flower beds across Europe, North America, New Zealand, and other locations with mild to cold climates.
It should come as no surprise, then, that attempts have been made to derive a black variety. Though more of a deep purple, it is generally agreed that the Queen of Night Tulip and the Paul Scherer Tulip are closer to black than any previous cultivars.
Bulbs of both cultivars are now widely available and can easily be found for order online. Planting should be in winter for best results.
9. Black Velvet Alocasia
The Black Velvet Alocasia (Alocasia reginula) is the second houseplant on our list. Like the Colocasia, it is a member of the Araceae family and as such has large, arrow-shaped leaves that get progressively darker with age. In good examples, these leaves take on a deep purple that makes it appear black from a distance. Notwithstanding, they always maintain light veins that radiate out from the midrib, adding nice contrast.
Also being of tropical origin, it is vulnerable to extremes. High temperatures, too much direct sunlight and too much water can all cause it die. This means that sadly it should remain a houseplant, even during the summer. If kept indoors, it will however be perennial and a beautiful edition to a study or bedroom.
You can learn more about the difference between Alocasia and Colocasia in our article on Flowers that start with the letter X.
10. Nigra Hollyhock
The Nigra Hollyhock, also known as Black Hollyhock, is a cultivar with exceptionally dark flowers. When these flowers are fully open, they also have a slight shininess which adds to the impression of blackness. Being large in size, the Nigra Hollyhock should be planted in the middle or back of a flowerbed after the last frost.
Doing best in temperate climates and full sun, Hollyhocks do have the potential to be perennial – with a bit of luck. Bear in mind, however, that they will not tolerate excessive moisture, or too much shade. They also tend to be prone to attack from weevils, sawfly and rust (a fungal disease)
What is the rarest black flower?
So far, the rarest black flower discovered is the Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri). This plants produces extraordinarily ornate, dark flowers that can be as much as a foot accross. Being related to Yams, this species grows in tropical zones of east Asia. It can be cultivated, but requires very high humidity.