Almost-black plants and foliage, clockwise from top left: Black Magic Viola, Sweet Caroline Purple Sweet Potato Vine, Colorblaze Dark Star Coleus and Pinstripe Petunia.

As I looked for flowers to complement some marigolds in a container planting, I stumbled upon Black Magic violas, the blackest flower I’ve ever seen. Most “black” flowers are very dark purple, but Black Magic is a pure matte black. Wow.

It got me thinking about black flowers in general: what’s available, how they fit into a garden scheme and why they hold such allure. Is it because they’re sophisticated? Mysterious? Or just unusual? It seems that breeders have been especially busy creating plants with almost-black flowers and foliage. A quick survey of our garden center revealed Sweet Caroline Purple Sweet Potato Vine, Colorblaze Dark Star Coleus, Black Magic Viola and Pinstripe Petunia.

How do you feel about almost-black flowers and foliage? Where do they fit into a garden scheme? Are they a passing fad, or do you envision a permanent place in your garden for these unusual plants? We’d love to hear your thoughts and see photos of how you’ve incorporated these plants into your gardens and container plantings. Share your photos on Instagram #lovegardeners

Suzanne DeJohn
Gardener’s Supply