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I learned about black plants from designing a conference badge recently. I discovered that the plants were from the genus Nigrodarte, growing on their own, and were found in the Canary Islands in the 1800s and exported to America as ornamental plants. The black color had corrupted in the process of cultivation.But then I saw my first black petunia—wow! I couldn’t believe how gorgeous and captivating it was. My newfound love didn’t stop with petunias. Once I started looking, I began noticing all kinds of cool plants with dark, rich foliage and blooms. While some were really more like black wannabes, falling into the purple or brown section of the color wheel, I was still impressed with the selection. Take a look at some of my favorites, but be sure to do a little exploring on your own as well. After all, I hear every garden looks good in black.
Give it a spot in part or full shade. Hardy in ZonesShowy and statuesque, Persian lily (Fritillaria persica) graces gardens in late spring with spikes of deep purple-black, bell-shaped blooms. Grown from bulbs, it's a true heirloom plant, appearing as early as 1585 in Turkey, Syria, Iran, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. Give it a sunny spot with very well-drained soil. Hardy in Zones 5-8. (Source: 4-9.Native to South Africa, 'Cantor Black' Calla lily features tall, upright blooms with a glossy deep purple-black hue surrounded by spotted green foliage. This plant is a beautiful addition to summer garden beds and makes a gorgeous cut flower. 'Cantor Black' Calla lily also grows well in containers and can be moved inside during the winter.
Spiky teeth along leaf edges enhance the fright factor on 'Black Magic' mangave. This tropical succulent makes a statement in containers or planting beds. Leaf color is darkest in full sun. Plants can overwinter indoors at temperatures 60°F or above. Its leaf color will fade, but the black hue will return in spring after a few weeks outdoors in the sun. Hardy in Zones 9 to 11.Smoky chocolate leaves on 'Northern Exposure' black coral bells sound a deep, dark note in planting beds that’s downright ghoulish when paired with the orange blooms of ‘Desert Coral’ coreopsis. This coral bells variety is versatile, growing from full sun to full shade. Leaf undersides are red. Hardy in Zones 3-9.This black-leafed beauty isn’t your grandmother’s coleus. In addition to its dark personality, this coleus grows in full sun or shade. Use it in containers to command attention in the thriller role, or tuck it into planting beds to provide a solid background for colorful annuals. (Source: www.hgtv.com)