Everyone seems to be jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon, which I appreciate is officially next Friday. So, I’m a week early, and I’m not offering any discounts, I’m simply well and truly jumping on that bandwagon! So, here is a list of black plants, whether that be their flowers, foliage or stems, which can be dramatic additions to a planting scheme.
A note on this list…I’m not actually sure that there are many truly black plants – on closer inspection even the darkest usually reveal a hint of colour. But, here is a selection of some good plants which come pretty close.
Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (Black Mondo Grass)
This is a tough little evergreen grass, which slowly clumps up to provide useful ground cover. Creates a dramatic effect paired with silver-leaved plants, or as a contrast against lighter coloured hard landscaping.
Tulipa ‘Queen of the Night’
Between now and Christmas is the perfect time to plant tulips, and there are number of good, purple-black Tulips available. Tulipa ‘Queen of the Night’ is a single late tulip, flowering April-May. It mixes well with a range of other tulips, and can look particularly effective with lighter purples or pinks.
One of the darkest Heucheras, Obsidian has shiny maroon-black foliage and will grow in most soils, in sun or part-shade. For foliage contrast, Heucheras generally pair well with many of the hardy ferns. Another effective combination would be with a magenta flowering Geranium, perhaps Geranium ‘Patricia’ which has near-black centres to its flowers.
Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ and (inset) Geranium ‘Patricia’
Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’
Thalictrums are very attractive herbaceous perennials, making a valuable contribution to a planting scheme over a long period. Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’ has appealing foliage, above which black stems carry soft, somewhat fuzzy looking lilac flowers in early to mid summer. Once these have gone, the seedheads look attractive for the remainder of the season. It’s a plant which looks good in many different planting styles, and adds height to planting without being heavy or domineering.
Sambucus ‘Black Tower’
All the black elders can be cut back annually, which keeps them to a more compact size and improves the foliage, or allowed to reach their full size for a larger space as an alternative to a small tree. Sambucus ‘Black Tower’ is a more compact, upright version, with larger leaves than the more frequently seen ‘Eva’ or ‘Black Lace’. Reaching heights of around 2.5m, it won’t spread more than around 1.25m, so would be more easily incorporated into a mixed planting scheme. Foliage colour will be richest in full sun, although it will grow in most situations and soils.
All the plants are available to buy from Crocus, by clicking here