Types of black flowers

Long-time readers might be aware we talk about Rainbow Roses in the office every so often. In theory, if you split a stem in four and put each quarter stem in a dye, you should get a rainbow in the petals. Examining a Rainbow Rose made by a professional seems to confirm this, but attempts to make one have failed badly.

So over the weekend, I carried out a short experiment. I knew World Goth Day was coming up. We know black is not a common colour for flowers. So could I make a flower black?

Breeding truly black flowers is not simple. The colour of a plant depends on its pigments and structure. Plants don’t make black pigments because there’s no benefit. Talking to the Guardian, Reading’s Alistair Culham said: “Black doesn’t really help a plant to stand out.” You can breed darker and darker flowers, that add more and more pigment to the petals by artificially breeding them, and get close to black.

I had this idea a week ago, and didn’t fancy waiting a few decades to see if we could do better. Instead, I used dye and a careful choice of flower.

Roses are probably a bad choice of flower if you want a plant that will draw up dye. Growing and selling roses is a global business, so you’re unlikely to get the freshest roses for an experiment. Instead you’ll have quite woody stems. That’s why I chose carnations.



Carnations have a green stem and should still be drawing up plenty of water when you buy them. To test if I could dye flowers, I bought six white carnations.

Here are the flowers, pre-experiment.

Two would be control carnations, to make sure I hadn’t bought a freak variety that mysteriously turn black. Two would sit in a test-tube of water and “Waitrose Essential Black Food Colouring” which is a liquid. If you don’t understand why black food colouring would be essential, you’re not getting into the spirit of World Goth Day. The last two would sit in Rainbow Dust Concentrated Gel dye.

I’m not sure how food colouring can be naturally black, but I’m not pulling on that thread today.

The idea was that using two dyes would make sure I wasn’t misled by choosing a bad dye. Using two flowers in each case meant that if I messed up cutting the stem of one flower, the other was still there in the tube. So a bad flower shouldn’t be a problem either.

The mix of liquid dye to water was about 1 in 10. For the gel, it was a 2cm squeeze. During this step, a portion of my hand turned black. If you’re doing this at home or with your own children, disposable gloves are a good idea when adding dye.

Finally, because the florist knew I was trying to make black flowers, she suggested starting from the darkest starting point I could. That’s why I also had six red carnations.

The flowers in gel dye are closest, next the flowers in liquid dye, then the controls at the back.

I then left the flowers in the conservatory.

My expectation was that the liquid dye would do best. After all the water that the stem pulls up is liquid. The only reason I tried the concentrated gel was that the florist suggested it. I was so sure that would be disappointing that I made a special trip out so I could have a liquid dye.

After half an hour the first fringes of black appeared on the petals.

There is black in there, but you have to look closely.

I was surprised there was something visible so quickly. I was expecting it to take a couple of hours. I was also surprised by which petals they were. These were the flowers in the gel test tube.


After about ten hours the flowers were close to finished.

Some black and white carnations. (click to enlarge)Some black and red petals, if you look closely. (click to enlarge)

Here are the results after 24 hours for the white flowers.

Control sampleUsing liquid dyeUsing gel dye

The red flowers didn’t really open, but followed the same pattern.

One feature that doesn’t come across in these photos is the health of the stems. One sample did like it was not enjoying itself and hanging its heads low. And that was the liquid dye sample. Both white and red flowers struggled. A better experiment would change the concentration of dye to water. But given that there’s no real visible effect on the flowers from the liquid dye, it’ll have to be a more committed experimenter than me.

Not only did the dye affect the flowers, but other parts of the plant also turned darker too.

Control leaf above, gel dye leaf below

This will come as no surprise to botanists. The gel is pulled where the water goes, and the water is needed for photosynthesis. Again the lack of dying in the sample stems indicates that water was not rising through the stem.

So what have I learned?

Horticulture is hard. I knew this already, but it’s a handy reminder. No one sane could seriously expect to knock up a few black flowers on a weekend when it takes people years to breed dark varieties. If it were that simple, why would there be a viable market for dark blooms? To be honest, I’m actually surprised the white flowers looked as good as they did.

Not all dyes are equal. As this page says, food dyes are not going to work well. Likewise for home craft projects, not even all food dyes will work well. Sooner or later I will try to make a rainbow carnation and, when I do, I’ll be using food gels, not liquid dyes.

Listen to your florist. I was convinced liquid food dye would do better. I was 1000% wrong on this, as the flowers did worse than the control sample. The reason I used food gel was on the florist’s suggestion. As a means of showing how plants draw water up to their flowers, she was entirely right.

Enjoy World Goth Day, and with a little food gel you can make any day a Goth day.

Black Flower Gardens: Information On How To Grow A Black Garden

Many people are intrigued with the Victorian black garden. Filled with attractive black flowers, foliage and other interesting additions, these types of gardens can actually add drama to the landscape.

How to Grow a Black Garden

Growing your own Victorian black garden is not hard at all. It’s basically done just like any other garden. Careful planning always helps beforehand. One of the most important factors is proper positioning. Dark-colored plants need to be placed in sunny areas to prevent them from becoming lost in the dark corners of the landscape. They should also be placed against a lighter backdrop in order to stand out more effectively.

Another aspect of the black garden is learning how to use the various tones and hues correctly. While black plants mix rather easily with other colors, some work better than others. The best thing to keep in mind when working with black palettes is choosing lighter shades that will contrast well with the black-colored plants you’ve chosen.

This will actually help intensify their color and allow them to stand out easily. Black flowers/foliage can accentuate other colors if carefully placed. For instance, black plants work well when combined with silver, gold, or bright-colored tones.

In addition, keep in mind that when choosing black flowers for the garden, some may actually appear dark purple or red rather than pure black. Plant color is also likely to change depending on location and other factors, such as soil pH. Black plants may also require additional watering as their darker shades can make them more susceptible to withering from the hot sun.

Black Flowers for the Garden

When using black plants for the garden, consider their various textures and forms. Look for different types of plants with similar growing requirements. There are numerous black plants to choose from that will add drama to your black garden—far too many to name. However, here is a list of black or dark-colored plants to get you started:

Black Bulb Varieties

  • Tulips (Tulipa x darwin ‘Queen of the Night,’ ‘Black Parrot’)
  • Hyacinth (Hyacinthus ‘Midnight Mystique’)
  • Calla Lily (Arum palaestinum)
  • Elephant Ear (Colocasia ‘Black Magic’)
  • Dahlia (Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’)
  • Gladiolus (Gladiolus x hortulanus ‘Black Jack’)
  • Iris (Iris nigricans ‘Dark Vader,’ ‘Superstition’)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Black Emanuelle’)

Black Perennials and Biennials

  • Coral Bells (Heuchera x villosa ‘Mocha’)
  • Hellebore, Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger )
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’)
  • Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus nigrescens ‘Sooty’)
  • Rose varieties ‘Black Magic,’ Black Beauty,’ Black Baccara’
  • Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris var stellata ‘Black Barlow’)
  • Delphinium (Delphinium x cultorium ‘Black Night’)
  • Andean Silver-Leaf Sage (Salvia discolor)
  • Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana ‘Bowles’ Black’)

Black Annuals

  • Hollyhock (Alcea rosea ‘Nigra’)
  • Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus)
  • Sunflower (Helianthus annuus ‘Moulin Rouge’)
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus ‘Black Prince’)

Black Foliage Plants

  • Pussy Willow (Salix melanostachys)
  • Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Moudry’)
  • Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’)

Black Vegetables

  • Eggplant
  • Bell Pepper ‘Purple Beauty’
  • Tomato ‘Black Prince’
  • Corn “Black Aztec’
  • Ornamental Pepper ‘Black Pearl’

Add a unique touch of color and drama to your garden by adding black flowers and plants. These plants can also be grown in containers.

First thing first, black plants are not really black, but dark purple, deep burgundy, maroon or red. These type of flowers and plants of black color can transform any garden or container garden in an exquisite way, they add a tropical touch and look exceptional when grown with other bright colored plants.

1. Tulip ‘Queen of Night’

Beautiful and dramatic, this tremendous closest to black flower appears in deep maroon color in spring. This variety can be mixed with white or pink tulips or other bright colored flower to create an astonishing view.

Good thing is that it is a low maintenance plant and usually easy to grow, that makes it a good plant for beginners. This fairly cold hardy plant blooms in mid or late spring under USDA Zones 3 to 8.

2. Petunia, Sophistica Blackberry Hybrid

Newly engendered varieties like ‘Black Velvet Petunia’ or ‘Black Cat Petunia’ look almost black but it may be hard and expensive to find their seeds. However, beautiful petunia, ‘Sophistica blackberry’ is an easier option. The dark flowers of this annual are actually deep reddish or burgundy in color and can be grown in window boxes, pots, beds and borders.

3. Helleborus ‘Onyx Odyssey’

The dark burgundy or nearly black hellebores are highly appreciated for their color. This lovely perennial can easily be grown in containers in part to full sun. Provide good air circulation around the plant and keep the soil well moist. Grows best in USDA zones 5-9 hellebores are early bloomers and flower in spring.

4. Viola ‘Molly Sanderson’

Violas ‘Molly Sanderson’ are another excellent option to enjoy flowers in black color, can be grown in both on the ground or in containers, flowers appear from spring to fall. They are very good around pale yellow primroses or multicolor pansies.

5. Iris ‘Before the Storm’

Irises are widely used in gardens and are available in almost every color imaginable, including chocolate and this new variety ‘Before the Storm’ of black color. This slightly fragrant iris requires a sunny position and well-drained soil in order to grow.

Also Read: Gardener’s Guide on Companion Plants for Iris

6. Physocarpus Opulifolius ‘Diabolo’ syn. ‘Monlo’

A versatile and appealing shrub with white flowers and deep burgundy foliage that looks black in shade or in dark. It is easy to grow and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, it grows best in USDA Zones 2-7 and must be planted in an area of partial shade in warmer zones due to the reason that in higher heat the foliage can become green.

7. Black Baccara Rose

This dramatic tea rose due to its bold color and upright habit looks stunning, it is one of the best black flowers. Its almost black color and fragrant blooms make an amazing display in the garden. The leathery green foliage are reddish when young. The flowers appear blacker in cool weather.

8. Hollyhock ‘Nigra’

Hollyhocks are beautiful, they look exceptional when flowers appear on their tall strong stems. But, particularly, this unique variety hollyhock, Alcea rosea ‘Nigra’ bears breathtaking chocolate maroon flowers that look almost black towards the center. Hollyhocks are old traditional plants, easy to grow and grow in a variety of climates easily (both in cool and warm climates in USDA Zones 3-10a).

Hollyhocks are old traditional plants, easy to grow and grow in a variety of climates easily (both in cool and warm climates in USDA Zones 3-10a).

9. Wine and Roses (Weigela florida)

This variety of Weigela is sold as ‘Wine and Roses’ or ‘Alexandra’, it offers a surprising combination of flowers in pink tones immersed in a deep burgundy foliage, looks black like. Suitable for cold climates, it likes full sun but tolerates some light shade too, this small shrub can also be grown in containers; easy to grow and bloom profusely in spring or early summer and continue to bloom throughout the summer season.

10. Black Beauty ‘Elderberry’

Another excellent choice within our list of black flowers and plants is Sambucus nigra ‘Gerda’, valued for its purple-black foliage, pink flowers, and juicy edible fruits. Elderberry can be used to add foliage interest in the garden but it looks especially wonderful when its flowers appear in summer. These flowers cover the plant and emit a light lemon like fragrance, then, the dark purple berries appear.

11. Calla Lily ‘Black Star’

One of the most decorative flowers the ‘Black Star’ bloom is deep purple with a spathe that is almost black, it looks attractive in combination with light green foliage spotted with red tips. It can be planted in containers, in the garden border.

12. Black Mondo Grass

A wonderful alternative for warm climates in rock gardens, borders or in a pot. The ‘black mondo grass’ grows about 12 inches tall and can extend up to 6-12 inches wide. In spring, the new dark green foliage emerges and then in summer it changes into a very deep purple-black. Also by mid-summer tiny bell-shaped white flowers appear, followed by small black seeds.

13. Aeonium Arboreum

This subtropical subshrub is an impressive and dramatic plant. This tall succulent has rosettes of dark reddish brown or burgundy leaves and yellow flowers that appear from summer through fall. The plant is more suitable to warm climates and should be protected in winters in cold climates.

14. Canna- Black Tropicanna

Bring a tropical touch with this plant to your garden. With its bright flowers and dark bronze to chocolate color large foliage, it can bring a great impact to your garden. More suitable for warmer zones, it must be planted in an area that receives at least six hours of daily sun.

15. Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’

Dahlias become most beautiful cut flowers. This cultivar dahlia ‘Arabian night’ has deep purple-red flowers. The flowers look black like in shade. Growing dahlia requires full sun, however, shade in the afternoon in warm climates is preferable.

16. Colocasia ‘Black Magic’

Colocasia ‘black magic’ is an astonishing plant that can be identified from its dramatic large and dark purple-black dusty leaves. This ‘Elephant Ear’ requires warmth and heat to thrive as it is a tropical plant and grows best in warm temperates and subtropical to tropical climates (USDA Zones 8-11). But even living in colder areas, you can enjoy this as an annual. It is a great idea to use it as a focal point by surrounding bright and colorful plants around it.

17. Coleus ‘Black Prince’

The coleus is one of the most widespread species and most popular when it comes to choosing striking foliage plants for the garden. The coleus ‘Black Prince’ can be grown for its unusual solid black foliage and small flowers, either as a perennial in warm subtropical or tropical regions or as an annual in temperates. It is a perfect plant for borders and can be used in combinations with other plants in containers.

Also Read: Heat Tolerant Flowers

18. Silver-Laced Primrose (Primula ‘Victoriana Lace Silver Black’)

Beautiful! This gorgeous flower is one of the rarest and difficult to obtain Primulas. It produces flowers of black-brown color with a scalloped silver edges and a golden center. Blooms are fragrant and appear in spring. This plant can be grown in cool and warm temperate regions (USDA Zones 5-9), it prefers partial shade and moist soil.

19. Heuchera ‘Obsidian’

Also called ‘Obsidian Coral Bells’ it is one of the most beautiful black color plants in our list that you can grow in borders, in flower beds or in containers to add an all season foliage interest to your garden. Its tiny flowers are also attractive, this plant requires cool weather and partial shade to thrive.

20. Bat Flower

Tacca bat flower (Tacca chantieri) is really a unique, rare and exotic flower that mimics a bat in flight. The plant requires warm subtropical or tropical weather in order to grow outside, in a cold climate you can grow it outside.

10 Black Flowers and Plants to Add Mystery and Dimension to Your Garden

Aeonium Arboreum (Zwartkop)

One of the most interesting new trends in gardening this year is the addition of black flowers and plants many people are making to their gardens.

Whether you love the Gothic allure of black, deep red and deep purple flowers and foliage, or you love the contrast and dimension black adds to anything visual, these are just a few of the many black plants in the world. They are as diverse and lovely as the colorful plants in the same family. Who knows? This could be the best way to liven up your garden!

Black Flowers and Plants

In 2017, Ball flower breeder, Jianping Ren, unveiled the world’s first-ever black Petunia at a UK trade show. It has created huge media and public excitement around the world. This is mostly because, unlike most “black” plants which are actually dark purple or red, this petunia has been created from nothing in a sense.

It took Ren four years. “The black colour did not exist in Petunias before, so it has to come from the right recombination of a novel colour mutant and multiple regular colour genetic backgrounds. It is difficult and very different from breeding true blue flowers because at least there are some blue flowers you can start with,” she says. “It’s unique and unusual, and opens the door for more new colors.”

The black velvet does best as an annual, ready to be transplanted outdoors in spring from seedlings after the danger of the first frost has passed. The silky black blooms are most decadent through the first part of May in a stable environment with consistent sun and temperatures.

Black Tulip ‘Queen of Night’

Tulip ‘Queen of Night’

This deep-maroon tulip is an heirloom variety circa 1940. If you’ve been in the gardening world for any length of time, you’ve probably seen these bobbing their dark heads along with white tulips in spring to create a dynamic partnership. They are just as hardy as any other tulip variety and bloom for a solid three weeks in early spring under the right conditions.

Black Star Calla Lily

These streamlined cones, popular in bridal bouquets, also come in a deep purple which looks nearly black. They are great for gardens as well! In addition, they repel deer and attract butterflies too. They grow to be 16-18’’ tall and bloom in mid summer if planted in late spring. Plant the black star calla lily in sun or part shade in good fertile soil with good drainage for optimum results.

Black Blood Dahlia

There is no true “black” dahlia. While dahlias are some of the easiest flowers to grow and cross-breed with other flowers, creating dozens of wildly different varieties, the only “black dahlia” refers to a Hollywood starlet who was murdered in the 1940s. This weed, native to Mexico and bred by Dutch growers, does come in a dark red that approaches black in some cases. Even if you can’t get true black, dahlias are well-worth growing for the ease and beauty they afford.

Black Hyacinth

The first black hyacinth was unveiled in 2005. This flower is not truly black – more like dark, dark blue. It’s called “Midnight Mystic” and it’s still in very limited supply. The good news is that they are as easy to grow as any other spring bulb.

Black mondo grass

Black Mondo Grass

Black mondo grass, Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens,’ does not actually belong to the grass family at all. Technically, it’s a flowering ground cover. It may produce small pinkish flowers and black berries.

In the south, this grass is often called “monkey grass” as its leaf fronds make small bushes of wild and spiky-looking grass stems. Black mondo grass actually stays quite short and works beautifully as a border, can tolerate full sun in northern climates and shade in southern climates.

Hollyhock Nigra

This variety of Hollyhock has been around since at least 1629. It was planted in the gardens of Monticello by Thomas Jefferson. Additionally, it has been used by gardeners for dye and to beautify gardens for centuries. The near-black blooms are actually deep red but have such a luster, you will want to keep planting the many seeds this plant reproduces year after year.

Black Hellebore

Helleborus Niger is more commonly called Christmas rose or black hellebore. It’s an evergreen perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family that flowers in the depths of winter, hence the name “Christmas rose.” It does not actually belong to the rose family. These gorgeous, large black open flowers with a gold center can be difficult to grow well, as they prefer dappled shade and moist alkaline rich soil. However, if conditions are not perfect, you can try adding organic compost and lime to acidic soils.

Aeonium Zwartkop

Another plant called a “black rose’ is actually a winter-blooming succulent. It has rosettes of burgundy-black leaves that top a stalk-like stem that can resemble flowers or be grown alongside flowers to show them off. Native to the Canary Islands, this plant does great along the ocean. It is also deer resistant. The aeonium zwartkop needs full sun and well-drained soil.

Black Velvet Elephant Ear

These stunning plants are best cultivated indoors in cooler climates. It’s a tropical plant adapted to the warm, moist region of southern Asia. Elephant ear is evergreen in tropical climates.

The “black velvet” variety is a dwarf Alocasia reginula. It has rounded heart-shaped leaves with silver and purple veins underneath and can put forth Anthurium-like flowers under favorable conditions.

In addition, elephant ears need a lot of humidity, partial to full shade and very fertile soil. It’s very cold sensitive, so make sure you protect it from drafts! Outdoors, should you live in a tropical region, it makes stunning ground cover.


Black plants and flowers may be all the rage right now, but they aren’t going away any time soon. Whether you fancy a new cultivar or hybrid or an heirloom bloom long prized for its stark lushness, these beautiful plants deserve a spot in any well-thought-out garden.

Over to You

What are your favorite black flowers or plants? Would you consider adding one of these to your garden?

Gardens are usually very colorful. Why not add some black flowers and differentiate your garden from the rest. Here are some that you’ll love.

Planting a garden is all about expressing yourself and creating a place of beauty for you and your loved ones. We like to think of the gardener as the artist, and the garden itself as the medium with which the artist creates their work. The difference here is that there is no real point of completion for this kind of artwork. Plants and flowers will keep growing, or bloom seasonally, each time creating a new and fresh look.

So when we had this opportunity to create an article featuring 22 dark colored flowers, we marveled at the idea. Flowers are so often associated with brightness, happiness, and light-hearted things. But that whole bit is overdone, and to be quite honest, a little stale. We compare gardens to artwork because so many wonderful pieces of art express a darker side of our thoughts and emotions. Often times, it is this darker, more sinister art that is most impactful.

So why not incorporate that darkness into your garden? Now, don’t get the wrong idea, we aren’t suggesting you go ahead and plant a garden full of only dark flowers, then walk around like there is a funeral in your backyard (although, that would be an awesome way to shock some of your neighbors). No, we think that balance is the key to creating the best garden. So find some brighter flowers that you like, and then take a look at these 22 dark flower options to balance out your space!

1. Velvet Petunia

These velvet petunias have five points formed by the petals, giving them the outline of a star. The deep black color of the flower makes it unique!

2. “Chocolate Soldier” Columbine

Source: Wikimedia

The “Chocolate Soldier” Columbine is a fairly tolerant flower, and it’s chocolate or purplish petals earned it a spot in our dark flower countdown!

3. Arum Palaestinum

Source: Wikimedia

The Arum Palaestinum flower looks just as sophisticated as is sounds. One large petal wraps around to form a delicate cone. The inside of the flower is almost pitch black!

4. Black Daylily

Source: Flickr

The Black Daylily is a magnificent blooming flower with a bright yellow center and petals that fan out and take on a dark purple coloring.

5. Black Gladiolus

Source: Flickr

Even the manner in which Black Gladiolus flowers grow from the stalk is different from most flowers. The petals themselves bloom in a billowing formation.

6. Butterfly Bush

Source: Wikipedia

You can easily guess where the Butterfly Bush got its name. Butterflies are commonly attracted to them, as well as Bees and Moths.

7. Carolina Allspice

Carolina Allspice flowers have thick petals that bloom around the center as if to shield the pistils and stamen from the outside world.

8. Chocolate Cosmos

The Chocolate Cosmos flower looks like something from outer-space. Large curved petals surround a cluster of tiny petals, all having a dark metallic hue.

9. Chocolate Vine

Chocolate Vines are a fantastic way to add variety to your garden. They have flowers with three large petals that open up to reveal dark purple stamen.

10. Dhalia

Dahlias are large boisterous flowers with saturated colors on the petals. Bright yellow stamen can be seen in the center of the flower.

11. Elephant Ear

Elephant Ears are great for space fillers in your garden, and look like giant black lily pads out of the water! Notice the faded green tones on certain leaves.

12. Hellebore

Source: Flickr

Hellebore flowers are gorgeous when viewed from below. They have large thin petals that the sunlight can shine through, illuminating the veins within the petals.

13. Heuchera

Heuchera flowers are small and delicate. They grow on long stalks with many different clusters throughout. The petals themselves are pink, but the stalks and foliage have a darker tone.

14. Himalayan Honeysuckle

Source: Wikimedia

Himalayan Honeysuckle is a fruit bearing flower that hangs inverted from it’s limbs. The petals are bright red, and hide the dark colored fruits growing inside.

15. Hollyhock

Hollyhock flowers are large and have fanciful petals. The deep blood red coloring of the flower is almost sinister.

16. Iris

The Iris is a dignified, uniquely beautiful flower with large flowing petals. We love the black coloring and the purple stamen.

17. Mondo Grass

Source: Wikimedia

Mondo Grass is a wonderful plant to fill space in your garden, and the black coloring makes it fairly unique. We think it would look great in a decorated pot as well.

18. Moulin Rouge Sunflower

The Moulin Rouge Sunflower is a gorgeous flower with dark red petals and a large black flower bed. It would look wonderful mixed in with bright yellow sunflowers!

19. Pansy

The Pansy is one of our favorites. The stark difference between the pitch black coloring of the petals and the bright yellow center makes the plant catch the eye.

20. Pussy Willow

The Pussy Willow is a grass plant with long stalks which are covered with seed pods. The plant is great for landscaping and works well as a complimentary addition to the garden.

21. Rose

The Rose is a very popular flower, and for good reason. It’s petals cradle one another and the curved edges peel back to create a one-of-a-kind look!

22. Tulips

Tulips are a gorgeous and sophisticated flower. These purple tulips have waxy petals, and bright green stalks to contrast the darker flowers.


Popular Garden Ideas

Popular Garden Ideas

World’s first black flower created

Petunias crossing to the dark side. Horticulturists today announced they have created the world’s first black petunia and it goes on sale in the UK in the spring.

The flower took plant breeders in the US four years to create. Now, after a year of field trials in the UK to ensure it can tolerate our climate, its creators are launching it here.

Stuart Lowen, marketing manager with the Banbury horticulture firm which developed the flower, Ball Colegrave, said: “It’s really quite an achievement to create a black flower, but for the customer it’s the intrigue, it’s sexy, it’s something different.”

In nature, flowers come in pretty much any colour you like – as long as it’s not black. The pigments that flowers employ to colour their petals don’t produce black.

But as any fashionista will tell you, anything goes well with black – a fact not lost on nursery men. So in the constant pursuit of new and therefore saleable varieties, breeders have long strived to produce blackest-looking varieties of flowers.

One of the earliest developed was the black tulip. There are now varieties of black rose, viola and hyacinth. The creators of the new petunia – dubbed “Black Velvet” – claim theirs is the blackest bloom yet produced.

“Novelty is always sought after in horticulture. It’s what entices people to buy plants,” said Janet Cubey of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Dark arts

However, getting a flower to look black isn’t easy.

“It takes a lot of breeding and selection to increase the levels of anthocyanins in the plant’s foliage,” said Cubey.

That chemical is part of the plant world’s limited palate for making colours. Anthocyanins can produce red and blue. By selecting flowers with the highest levels of these pigments and breeding them together, it’s possible to create very dark purple petals and leaves.

For that reason, the new petunia is in fact, like all “black” flowers, a very dark purple. Ball Colegrave claim that because petunias have a velvety texture to their petal, the bloom appears blacker than most.

Mr Lowen added: “It’s completely unique. It’s the first black petunia anywhere in the world. It was created by experimenting with existing colours already on the market and breeding them using traditional methods…

“They say black goes with anything, and it really looks exceptionally striking in the garden – it goes very well with whites, yellows and pinks. It’s rare to get a flower as black as this – very seldom do you get anything this dark.

15 Most Beautiful Black Flowers

Black flowers are extremely unique in their appearance.

However, it’s impossible for a bloom to be completely black, and what many perceive to be black, is in fact a deep shade of purple. Because they’re so rare, dark coloured blooms add instant intrigue to a bouquet or garden arrangement and suggest mystery, elegance and power.

So if you’re looking to add something a little different to your floral display, here are a few of the most beautiful black flowers out there.

15 Beautiful Black Flowers

Queen of the Night Tulip

Black tulips are both distinctive and exotic looking. In a floral arrangement, they work well with yellow, white or pink tulips and look stunning when paired with yellow pansies.

They bloom in the spring and can grow up to 24 inches in height.

They’re also extremely low-maintenance, which makes them a popular choice for gardeners with busy schedules.

source: vanengelen.com

Purple Calla Lily

This flower makes a dramatic statement when used in a bouquet, especially a wedding bouquet.

Named after the Greek word for beautiful, it certainly lives up to its name. This specie of flower symbolises faithfulness, rebirth and resurrection and is shaped a little like a trumpet.

source: rebloggy.com


The majority of Hellebore species are pink or white. However, the rare form is a deep purple.

Although lovely to look at, this black flower is very poisonous – which only adds to its intrigue.

This perennial plant, which blooms in early spring, can be easily grown in containers, in both part and full sun.

source: gardenofeaden.blogspot.com

Bat Orchid

This interesting breed of black flower bares a close resemblance to a bat in flight. It’s a deep shade of brown and to the untrained eye, looks ebony black.

This specie is a member of the orchid family. It’s also often referred to as the ‘Devil Flower’ or the ‘Cat’s Whiskers’.

Asides from its distinctive appearance, some scientists also believe this flower to have cancer-fighting properties.

source: pinterest

Black Pansy

Although pansies are one of the more common garden flowers, a unique version of this specie also exists – the black pansy.

This beautiful flower boasts a deep purple, velvety shade. It’s this wonderful inky shade that adds an instant twist to an otherwise traditional flowerbed.

source: plantsofdistinction.co.uk

Black Dahlia

Even though this beautiful black bloom looks to be as dark as the night, it’s in fact a very dark shade of red.

It’s an extremely mysterious looking flower and one that only became renowned when the film ‘Black Dahlia’ was released in 2006.

source: pinterest

Black Petunia

It was only in 2010 that these black flowers were created.

The Purple Petunia comes in a shade that is almost black (Black Velvet Petunia), due to a formula perfected by horticulturists.

source: dailymail.co.uk

Chocolate Cosmos

This beautiful maroon bloom is native to Mexico.

Not only does it share the same hue as the sweet treat, it also has a chocolate-like scent!

source: dobbies.com

Viola ‘Molly Sanderson’

These particular species of black flower can be grown in both the garden and in a container – making them suitable for the outdoors and indoors.

They start to bloom in the spring and perfectly complement the likes of multi-coloured pansies and yellow primroses.

source: borderalpines.co.uk

Black Baccara Rose

This stunning tea rose adds a dramatic look to any bouquet, vase or garden.

Because of this reason, it’s one of the most loved black flowers on the market. Asides from its attractive appearance, it also boasts a very appealing fragrance.

The flowers are complemented by pretty green-reddish foliage and the blooms themselves actually appear darker in cooler weather.

source: vanmeuwen.com

Physocarpus Opulifolius ‘Diabolo’ syn. ‘Monlo’

The name of these flowers is somewhat of a mouthful. However, despite this, they’re extremely easy to grow and are very low maintenance.

They boast white flowers and deep purple foliage.

source: leavesnbloom.com

Iris ‘Before the Storm’

The Iris is a flower that is obtainable in almost every colour imaginable, including a deep shade of purple-black.

This sweet scented flower thrives in sunlight and enjoys well-drained soil in order to flourish.

source: wiki.irises.org

Black Widow Cranesbill Geranium

This black flower also goes by the name of ‘the mourning widow’ or the ‘dusky cranesbill’.

It boasts a rich, dark colour and thrives in shady, damp areas.

It’s native to western and southern Europe. The petals are pointed and have crinkly edges, whilst the leaves are splattered with a brown hue.

source: Pinterest

Chocolate Lily

Despite a somewhat distasteful scent, these black flowers look extremely impressive.

Unfortunately, flies pollinate these blooms – which makes them a little less appealing.

source: wildnatureimages.com

Black Hollyhock

Most are fooled by the Black Hollyhock’s deep purple-blue petals, which to the untrained eye appear a deep shade of black. The petals often boast a vivid hint of red, which only adds to their beauty. It’s an ideal specie to plant close to a wall or at the back of a border, and one that will add instant glamour to an otherwise subtle garden.

These black flowers are able to thrive in an array of climates.

source: seagreenandsapphire.wordpress.com

In addition to the Black Hollyhock, the Hollyhock ‘Nigra’ is another exceptionally beautiful black flower. This unique specie boasts pretty chocolate-hued flowers with almost black centres that thrive in both cool and warm climates – making them a perfect addition to the garden and the home.

While many of the ‘black’ flowers are actually not black at all, they can still provide stunning enhancements to a bouquet, floral arrangement or even vase display.

Sources: MNN and Birds and Blooms

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There is something about the black colour which makes people attracted to it. It represents mystery, elegance, strength and authority. In many parts of the world, black colour is associated with negative feelings but this does not reduce the beauty of black blooms. That is correct, flowers are known for being colourful and bright, but the world has black flowers. And the mystery of these gorgeous black flowers is hypnotic. You cannot help but get attracted to them. Flowers are often metaphorically described as artwork, and no artwork is complete without the colour black. It could be Anish Kapoor’s Vantablack or Just black used by other artists, it is the dark side of the art expressing deeper feelings.

Here are 11 Gorgeous Black Flowers From Around The World:

Iris Chrysographes- Black Iris

Native to China and Myanmar, Black Iris is a sweet-scented purplish-black flower. It is the national flower of Jordan and is considered as the epitome of beauty. The black iris flower is also known for its toughness and its survival ability in the harshest of environments, such as the Arabian Desert.

Black Tulips- Queen Of Black Night

Found in almost all colours, the royal tulip flower is found in the magical colour black as well. Black tulips are a rare hybrid which is hard to achieve. There are many species of black tulips such as Queen of the Night Black Tulip, Paul Scherer Black Tulip, Ebony Queen Black Tulip, Nearly Black Tulip, Black Hero Tulip and Black Parrot Tulip. They symbolize power and strength & depicts mysterious royalty.

Black Pansy- Simply Pansy

The fragrant, blooms pansies are found commonly. But did you know that you can find the beautiful pansy flower in deep purple colour as well that appears black? In 1926, Georgia O’Keeffe created a painting of a black pansy called Simply Pansy. Black pansy is not only gorgeous but is very easy to grow.

Calla Lily- The Black Star

The popular calla lily, known for being beautiful, also comes in a deep purple colour which looks like black to the human eye. It is called the black star and make a dramatic statement. Deep Purple calla lily symbolizes royalty and strength. These carry elegance and mystery.

Geranium Phaeum- The Black Widow

This beautiful flower is native to Southern, Central, and Western Europe. It has many common names like dusky cranesbill, mourning widow and black widow, and grows in shady damp areas.

Taccca Chantrieri- The Bat Orchid

Belong to the orchids family, the bat orchid flower gets its name bat orchid due to it’s a close resemblance to a bat flight. Although it is a deep shade of brown but looks like ebony black. The flower is native to Asia and is linked to superstations that finding a bat flower means death, or losing someone close. Although, it was found that the bat orchid has cancer-fighting properties.

Helleborous Nigger- Black Hellebore

Hellebore flowers are usually found in white and pink colours but there is a rare deep purple shade available which seems black to the human eye. The botanical name of Black Hellebore is Helleborus Nigger and is commonly called the Christmas Rose. Black Hellebore has medicinal properties and was used for cleansing of the body and in treatment of paralysis. It was also used in the treatment of mental disorders.

Black Hollyhock- Black Magic

Again, black holly flower is near to black but is a deep purple flower. These gorgeous flowers bloom throughout summer. Although Hollyhock flowers symbolize friendship, the deep purple hollyhock symbolizes nobility.

Black Petunia- The Blackest Flower

The Petunia Black Velvet is the blackest flower and was created in 2010. This plant is a very popular choice among gardeners and is known for is a striking dark colour. While many people who associate the colour black with death, associate the flower with death as well. Many people believe that black petunia symbolizes strength, uniqueness, and insurrection. Many people in Europe and South America gift this flower on Mother’s Day.

The black dahlia flower is a deep shade of burgundy but seems dark as the night. The flower is known to be mysterious and is extremely beautiful. During the Victorian time, the flower was believed to represent a commitment and an everlasting bond. The flower is so beautiful, that a movie was named after it called “Black Dahlia” released in 2006.

Black Rose- The Black Beauty

The black rose flower is very popular and is said to exist in Tibet but the fact hasn’t been verified yet. Some believe that an actual black rose does not exist and is a deeper shade of purple & red, while others believe that black roses are dyed white roses. It has many names like black beauty, Tuscany superb, baccarat, black jade and black magic. The black rose symbolizes tragic romance, immorality, and sadness. While some people see the black rose as the symbol of mystery and elegance.

Although the colour black is often associated with negative emotions, you cannot deny it’s beauty and especially black flowers. They’re not only beautiful but very stylish and have an uncanny attractiveness.

Understanding the Meaning and Types of Black Flowers

Black Flowers Meaning

Black is a rare color to see in flowers. Black is strong, mysterious, powerful and unique in meaning. Black has always negative meaning and ominous connotations but despite the belief, it is the symbol of rebirth and rejuvenation. The flowers are mainly used for ornamental purposes and add a surprise element to the garden. The flowers need proper soil, light and humidity levels to blossom. It is important to note that there are rarely black flowers in nature and they are usually deep shades of purple or red. When added to a floral display or arrangement, they add mystery to the overall appearance.

If you aren’t sure if the flowers of a plant are going to be black or not, the words in their names such as Night, Chocolate or Black would help you figure it all out. If you want to use black blooms in a fresh flower bouquet or display, pair them with lighter shades to make them look even darker. The contrast helps the display to look better and make black blooms even darker.

Is there any True Black Flower?

We got the original black flower as Black Velvet petunia. The breeders took four years to come up with the really velvety and ‘blacker’ flower that seems to look distinctive and darker than its peers. However, if you observe it more closely and impartially, it has a dark purple shade and not black.

There are about over 3,000 flowers with dark petals, resembling black in certain light but there a few rare cultivars such as Queen of Night, the black tulip, Guinee, Black Baccara roses with deep, almost-black red color that give the impression of black.

The flowers from Iris and Viola families have darker petals. Iris chrysographes has black petals and gold veins on them, making them striking, mysterious and fascinating at the same time.

Are there any Black Roses?

There are many genetically modified species of black roses such as Black Prince and Black Baccara with deep purple and dark maroon shades that look almost black in the light.

Types of Black Flowers

Queen of the Night Tulip

As we said earlier, despite several attempts, we don’t have real black flowers. However, Queen of the Night, a cultivar of tulips, has a deep purple shade that makes them a sought after variety. The flowers look very classy and distinguished in their appearance. The stunning flowers stand out in the garden and in a floral appearance; they look beautiful with lighter shades. Besides, despite being looking so exquisite, they are low-on-maintenance.

Calla Lily

The trumpet-shaped flower has a deep purple shade that looks black in some light. It adds dramatic appeal to your garden and looks really good with lighter shades. The purple calla lily symbolizes resurrection and rebirth, making it an ideal flower for your loved ones and friends who are recuperating after a long bout of illness or looking for a ray of hope. Since they have a trumpet-like shape, they are also related to victory. Calla lily can also be seen in paintings and depiction of Virgin Mary for; they depict resurrection, faithfulness, and purity.

Black Baccara Rose

The black rose meaning has dramatic and appealing. With a deep purple shade and green, almost red foliage, the flowers look stunning. The flowers also have very beautiful and soothing fragrance.

Bat Orchid

It is usually grown as novelty plant but this plant isn’t for weak hearted. Tacca Chantrieri is an orchid and mainly popular as the black bat flower. The black flowers are quite black and can be spooky as they are bat-shaped and quite different from what you have been seeing so far. The flowers are a commonplace sighting on Malaysia, Thailand and Southern China. The plant requires well-mulched soil, high humidity, and well-drained soil to blossom. The flower is also supposed to have cancer-fighting properties as well.

Black Dahlia

Los Angeles’ most notorious and grisly murder case was named after the flower. The flowers are deep red that lingers on the black shade. Researchers from Austria’s Vienna University of Technology were successful in analyzing the pigment of plant metabolite also called flavonoid, which is responsible for the color of dahlias. Scientists have also figured out that the deep and dark shade of red is due to the higher amount of anthocyanins. Since dahlias are available in various colors, the flower stands for diversity and unity.

Black Petunia

Petunia is a very common flower but black petunia is a novelty. The flower was developed by Ball Colegrove, a leading flower breeding company in the year 2010. Advertised with the catch line, ‘Black goes with everything,’ the flower has become much sought after with professional garden centers and gardeners. The black petunia was created by mixing pollens in several attempts.

Hellebore Black Flower

Hellebore is usually in pink and white. However, there is a rare, deep purple shade also available that brings this perennial plant in the category of black flowers. The black hellebore is, however, toxic. The flowers blossom in early spring and require full sun as well as well-drained soil.

Black Pansy

The black pansy flowers actually have a deep and somber shade of purple. It is usually grown for its dramatic appearance. The flower bed could really look gorgeous with a hint of novelty with black pansy flowers.

Black Widow Flower

The flower is also called mourning widow or dusky crane’s bill. This herbaceous plant is native to Western, Central and Southern Europe. The dark violet flowers look ominous due to crinkly edges, pointed tips and blotched brown leaves.

Chocolate Cosmos

Chocolate Cosmos usually have dark red color and are native to Mexico. However, they are being declared extinct. They were brought into cultivation in the year 1902 by a single clone, via vegetation propagation. The plant is a perennial and the blooms exude vanillin like fragrance, which becomes quite pronounced as the day passes. Since the `flowers don’t have seeds, they aren’t self-fertile. You need to propagate by tuber division or rely on tissue culture.

Chocolate Lily

Chocolate lilies are also called mission flowers because of their distinct shape. The flower has an odd scent whereas one of the species, which it is always confused with, Arthropodium strictum, has chocolate like fragrance. The color of the flowers are dark brown, almost like chocolate and hence, the name. What the flower lack in fragrance department, it makes up for it in the looks department. There are one other species, which is found in Alaska known as Kamchatka fritillary.

Black Hollyhock

The near-black flowers are deep purple with a hint of red. The distinctive appearance of flowers makes them perfect for potting and container gardening.The plant is a hardy and it can survive difficult weathers too. Hollyhock as another species called Hollyhock Nigra, which is also known for its black flowers that are a deep shade of chocolate. The best part is since these flowers are easy on maintenance; you can grow them in your garden easily.

Nigra Hollyhock is a very popular variety with historical garden. The rich-colored flowers were mentioned in 1629 and they were also seen in the Monticello gardens of Thomas Jefferson. Black Hollyhock is probably one of the rarest flowers that can look almost black in certain lights.

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