The Best Types of Black Flowers and Black Plants to Grow at Home
Whether you want to add a dash of elegance to an outdoor garden or a bit of mystery to a bouquet, black flowers and plants can help you create the rare air of mystique you’ve been looking for. Keep reading to learn all about black flowers, what makes a flower or plant black, and to find some of the best black flowers and plant types for the home and garden.
Are There True Black Flowers and Plants in Nature?
There are no truly black flowers or plants in nature. Although, some come pretty close with dark purple, brown, or maroon pigmentation that’s highly saturated. Some of these “black” plants occur naturally, but most are the cultivated products of special breeding.
Why Are Flowers and Plants the Colors They Are?
Sunlight is emitted in a spectrum of wavelengths from long to short (from radio waves and infrared to the visible spectrum that we can see with our eyes and finally the super-short wavelength ultraviolet light, x-rays, and gamma rays).
We see the colors that certain compounds reflect rather than absorb. For example, a green plant reflects light at the green wavelength but absorbs other the color of light.
A truly black plant would absorb the full spectrum of light, possibly causing it to dry out, overheat, and even suffer damage at the cellular level.
The natural features of flowers and plants are a reflection of their evolutionary adaptations that have developed over time to increase their chances of survival and reproduction.
Although there are darker, lighter, and differently colored varieties that grow naturally in the world, most plant foliage is green because green-colored foliage most efficiently absorbs the wavelengths of light that aid plants in the energy-producing process of photosynthesis.
Most natural flowers blossom in colors that attract pollinators to ensure successful reproduction. The flower colors most commonly found in nature include yellow, red, white, and blue.
Black Flower Meaning and Symbolism
In flowers and plants, the color black often carries symbolic meanings that are just as dark. Black rose flowers for instance symbolize mourning, despair, sadness, death, hatred, and sometimes obsessive love.
In other flowers and plants, the midnight hue can carry these negative connotations but sometimes also symbolizes things like mystery, power, farewells, and elegance.
There’s no denying that black is a highly stylish color that goes with just about everything. So, these unusually alluring flowers are often used in high floral design and also in holiday bouquets for Halloween.
38 Types of Black Flowers and Plants
Here you’ll find 38 stunning and mysterious types of black flowers and plants to grow at home or in your garden.
1. Black Forest Calla Lily (Zantedeschia black forest)
The Black Forest calla lily has a nearly black, deep-purple blossom that will grace gardens throughout the summer and looks lovely paired with the simple elegance of creamy white calla lilies in gardens and bouquets alike. They are hardy to grow outdoors in zones 8 to 10 and can also be grown in zones 3 to 7 if stored indoors for the winter.
2. Black Hollyhock (Alcea rosea nigra)
Hollyhocks are a quintessential backdrop for the classic cottage garden. They have a wild look and their tall cones (up to six feet!) of single or double-layered flowers offer a reliable, perennial appeal. Plus, hollyhocks bloom in a wide range of colors, including the black hollyhock which blossoms in a dark shade of maroon that appears nearly black.
3. Raven ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia ‘Raven’)
The typical ZZ plant features pinnate leaves of emerald green, but the raven cultivar has foliage that darkens as it matures into such a deep shade of green that the leaves look almost black. Like other ZZ plants, the raven ZZ is drought-tolerant and requires little water or attention. Unlike other ZZ plants, this one will do best in a shady location that doesn’t receive much sun.
4. Black Widow (Geranium phaeum)
The Geranium phaeum is a species of the Geranium genus (not the “geraniums” that you commonly see in the garden store in summer) that features back-turned, dark-purple, almost black flowers. Thanks to the flower’s unique shape that resembles the bonnet worn by a lady in mourning or a bird’s beak, these flowers are commonly referred to as the black widow, mourning widow, or dusky crane’s bill.
5. Crazytunia Black Mamba Petunia (Petunia ‘Crazytunia Black Mamba’)
The Crazytunia Black Mamba Petunia is a petunia hybrid that blooms abundantly from spring through summer in inky shades of the darkest maroon you can imagine. For the best growing results, make sure your black mambas receive at least 6 hours of full sun each day and no more than 4 hours of shade. Plant your petunias in hanging baskets or other planters where they’ll have room to trail and drape around the pot.
6. Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’)
Black mondo grass is not truly grass because it actually belongs to the lily family. This grass grows in clumps from tuberous roots, has no stems, and this particular variety of mondo grass features an unusually dark hue. Typically planted as ground cover or edging in gardens, black mondo grass grows low to the ground. It also grows relatively slowly, so it’ll need to be planted early in spring to ensure it’s well-established before winter.
7. Black Barlow Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris var. Stellata ‘Black Barlow’)
Black Barlow columbines are herbaceous perennial plants that produce pom-pom flowers that have pointy-petaled, star-shaped blossoms in a dark purple-black color. These flowers make the perfect addition to a cottage garden or cutting garden and are winter hardy to zone 3. Just be mindful of the sap when handling these flowers because it can irritate the skin.
8. Zwartkop Aeonium (Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’)
Sometimes commonly called the black rose aeonium, this unique succulent produces large rosettes of reddish-black leaf segments that grow to be about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. As the succulent grows, it eventually develops a tunk-like stem that gives the plant the overall appearance of an otherworldly tree. Like most succulents, this aeonium needs full sun and well-draining soil to thrive.
9. Clear Crystals Black Pansy (Viola x Wittrockiana ‘Clear Crystals Black’)
Pansies are simple, yet beautifully stunning flowers in just about any bed or flower pot. These, clear crystals black pansies, are even more striking with their alluring, black blossoms. Accented by bright-yellow and violet centers, these beauties will turn your garden into a true showstopper from early spring throughout summer.
10. Black Charm Asiatic Lily (Lilium asiatica ‘Black Charm’)
These Asiatic lilies are actually a cross between trumpet lilies and Asiatic lilies, and this mix produces a dazzlingly dark reddish-black, star-shaped blossom called the black charm lily. These lilies are perfect for growing in your garden alone or with other flowers as a contrast to more brightly colored blooms. They’re also perfect for a cutting garden, as they can last up to two weeks in a vase.
11. Black Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)
Also commonly called the ‘black is black’ iris, the black bearded iris appears almost truly black. However, when the light reflects just right of its shiny petals, you will see a sheen of purple and green, almost like the rainbow of a black oil slick or a pigeon’s feathers. This iris stuns with its surprisingly inky hue and large flower heads of ruffled petals.
12. Black Magic Rose (Rosa Hybrida ‘Black Magic’)
Black Magic roses are a tea rose hybrid that features the classic deep-red petals that we associate with traditional roses but with the appearance of having been dipped in a pot of translucent black ink. First cultivated in Germany in the 1980s, black magic roses made their way to the United States in 2001 and are still popular to grow and include in bouquets today.
13. Black Magic Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’)
This variety of colocasia, black magic elephant ears is traditionally grown for its showy foliage. Colocasia plants feature large heart-shaped leaves that can grow up to 2 feet long, and the black magic variety’s leaves are a dusty-blackish purple in color. Hardy outdoors in zones 8 to 10, elephant ears make an unexpected centerpiece for a garden. In cooler climates, however, they’re also great for growing indoors in containers.
14. Moulin Rouge Sunflower (Helianthus annus)
This variety of sunflower features large blossoms with faces that measure up to 6 inches across. The petals ring a darkly colored center. Petals have a rusty-black color toward the center and feature fiery reddish-orange tips that create an ombre effect from bright red to deep, almost-black brown. Sunflowers thrive in sunny growing locations and, with no pollen, they make great cut flowers for floral arrangements.
15. Fringe Flower (Loropetalum chinense var. Rubrum ‘Black Pearl’)
A member of the witch hazel family, this evergreen shrub grows features greenish-purple or purplish-black foliage that looks beautiful year-round. In early spring, the shrub produces an abundance of bright-pink, spidery flowers that hang down like tassels or fringe – hence the common name “fringe flower.”
16. Penny Black (Nemophila discoidalis ‘Penny Black’)
Commonly called Penny black or baby black eyes, these annuals feature five dark-purple petals rimmed with a bright white along the edges and at the center. They stay low to the ground, growing only about 4 inches in height, and have a trailing habit that makes them perfect for any containers, borders, and hanging baskets.
17. Black Magic Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos astrosanguineus ‘Black Magic’)
This cosmos cultivar blossoms with petals in a deep, blood-red color that looks almost black from certain angles. With bright-yellow centers, they are striking flowers to behold. Their visual beauty, however, is not the chocolate cosmos’s only alluring feature; they also have a fragrance that closely resembles the aroma of chocolate. These annuals will make a sweet treat out of any garden.
18. Black Pussy Willow (Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’)
This pretty deciduous shrub is a favorite for late winter and early spring gardens; its showy purple-black catkins and red to yellow anthers will be some of the first colors to grace your garden each year. Black pussy willow is perfect for borders, beds, and cutting gardens as the spindly stems add a dash of whimsy to your floral arrangements.
19. European Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
This species of flowering plant is native to Europe and can grow as a deciduous shrub, hedge, or even a small tree with the proper pruning and growth encouragement. Its darker variety produces purplish-black, pinnate leaves, clusters of petite pink or purple flower blossoms, and black-colors berries.
20. Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’)
The smoke bush is a deciduous shrub that can also be encouraged into the form of a small tree. It has purplish-green foliage that turns a bright, scarlet red in the autumn. Despite its beautiful leaves, the smoke bush is most commonly recognized for its prominent, frizzy, and brightly colored seedpods that seem to float like smoke in front of the shrub’s leaves.
21. Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)
Despite its height and tree-like appearance, bamboo is actually a type of grass. Instead of featuring brightly-colored green trunk-like stems and leaves like other types of bamboo, this variety’s “trunks” are a deep-dark-green hue that’s nearly black. This bamboo is quite striking as the dark-colored stems offset the plant’s verdant leaves.
22. Arabian Night Dahlia (Dahlia ‘Arabian Night’)
Like all dahlias, the Arabian Night cultivar never fails to please the eye with its showy reddish-black blossoms. These blossoms’ petals seem to grow darker toward the flower’s center. Arabian night dahlias bloom abundantly starting in mid-summer and continuing until the first frost with full blossoms that grow to be about 4 inches in diameter.
23. Sophistica Blackberry Petunia (Petunia ‘Sophistica Blackberry’)
This petunia hybrid produces velvety-looking, trumpet-shaped flowers in a deep, rich burgundy. The blossoms can appear either black or dark-red, depending on the angle from which you view them. Like other varieties of petunias, these bloom from spring through the summer and make a perfect addition for window boxes and hanging baskets with their trailing habit.
24. Green Wizard Coneflower (Rudbeckia occidentalis ‘Green Wizard’)
This unique coneflower blossoms with a prominent black cone at the center, a rim of tiny yellow petals, and a ring of spiky, green sepals at the base. While the green wizard coneflower is not normally planted as the centerpiece of a garden, it will add visual texture and contrast to more brightly blooming companions.
25. Black Beauty Gladiolus (Gladiolus x hortulanus ‘Black Beauty’)
Also called sword lilies, gladiolus flowers grow from bulbs and feature bright-green, lance-shaped foliage. Starting in mid-summer, this gladiolus hybrid produces prominent central flower spikes in a deep burgundy with black edges that grow up to 60 inches in height, making them a real showstopper for the background of your garden. They’re winter hardy in growing zones 7 to 10.
26. Black Velvet Alocasia (Alocasia reginula)
Also called jewel alocasia, the black velvet alocasia plant has become a favorite houseplant thanks to its unusual look. This alocasia has ghostly, whitish-green stems and dark, almost-black heart-shaped leaves marked with whisper-light green vein lines. The leaves of this plant have a velvet appearance but actually feel slightly rough to the touch. With the right care, this versatile plant can grow just about anywhere in your home or office.
27. Purple Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
This variety of basil is a cultivar of sweet basil and features oddly attractive leaves that can either appear almost completely black in appearance with a solid dark purple color or can feature the rich green hue of everyday basil and big, splotches of deep purple. Both varieties of purple basil taste delicious in cooking and will make an attractive garnish on your plate.
28. Obsidian Coral Bells (Heuchera ‘Obsidian’)
Beloved for both their attractive clumps of foliage and delicate flower spikes, coral bells make wonderful additions to just about any garden. This semi-evergreen plant will attract butterflies to your garden, blooming from early to mid-summer in zones 4 through 9. Plus, it’ll continue to add a splash of shiny, deep-burgundy-colored foliage long after the blossoms are spent.
29. Black Tulips (Tulipa)
Since tulips are generally associated with positive symbolic meanings, black tulips have a more positive meaning than black roses, symbolizing strength and power. Although no one has yet to achieve a truly black-colored tulip, there are several varieties that come close with deep shades of purple, burgundy, and brown such as the queen of the night tulip, black hero tulip, black parrot tulip, and Vincent van Gogh tulip – each of these features its own inky shade.
30. Blacknight Hollyhock (Alcea rosea ‘Blacknight’)
With their spindly and wild, yet cultivated-looking, flower stocks, hollyhocks are a staple at the back of any cottage garden. Growing up to 6 feet in height, they produce large spikes filled with flowers throughout summer in zones 3 through 9. The blacknight hollyhock’s blossoms have single petals in a deep shade of purple. Make sure yours receive more than 6 hours of full sunlight every day.
31. Black Velvet Petunia (Petunia ‘Black Velvet’)
It can be argued that this particular variety of almost-black petunia comes the closest to achieving the true-black hue that horticulturists have been striving to achieve for centuries. Beware of where you acquire black petunia seeds for your garden; many disreputable sellers are shipping seeds that produce lavender or pink petunias and marketing them as black velvet petunias. Just be sure to purchase seeds from a trustworthy supplier.
32. Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)
The black bat flower is often mistaken for an orchid, but it is actually from the Tacca genus of flowering plants and belongs to the yam family. These strange and unusual blossoms are difficult to describe because they’re so unique! The flowers have wing-like sepals that can grow to be up to 12 inches across, are brownish-black in color, feature almost-black central petals, and even have whisker-like appendages that can grow up to about 28 inches long.
33. Black Prince Echeveria (Echeveria ‘Black Prince’)
If you enjoy collecting and growing different types of succulents, then your collection won’t be complete until you have a black prince echeveria which features a spiky rosette of green to black-tipped leaf segments. Despite their dark foliage, these succulents still grow well in full sunlight with little water or attention. Plus, they’re easily propagated from leaf segments so you can grow more to keep or give away.
34. Molly Sanderson Viola (Viola ‘Molly Sanderson’)
This variety of viola is a spreading and clumping, evergreen perennial plant that produces almost completely black flowers each with a small, yellow eye at the center. Blossoms start appearing in early spring and continue into autumn. These alluring violas will make a great addition to your borders and flower beds.
35. Diabolo Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’)
The diabolo ninebark is a deciduous shrub that features dark, purplish-green foliage that can appear almost black in color. They produce clusters of showy, white, and pink flowers. Growing to be about 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide, these dense shrubs can be planted in a row to create a private garden or individually at the edge of a cottage garden. They are hardy in zones 3 to 7.
36. False Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis)
In the wild, Oxalis triangularis features green foliage, but many cultivars have been created to selectively produce foliage in a deep-purplish black. Each of the plant’s leaf sections feature three leaves attached to a stem at the center, making it resemble a shamrock, hence its common name. These plants are easy to grow when kept evenly moist, and they blossom with delicate, white flowers from spring through fall.
37. Persian Lily (Fritillaria persica)
Persian lilies blossom with tall spikes of bell-shaped flowers that range in dark, almost-black hues of purple, burgundy, and brownish-green. Several varieties grow naturally in the wild in their native regions and many Persian lilies have also been produced for ornamental purposes. Native to the Mediterranean region, Persian lilies can be grown in hardiness zones 5 through 8.
38. Black Baccara Rose (Rosa Hybrida ‘Black Baccara’)
These roses were bred to be used in the florist industry, but they are also suitable to grow in home gardens. The black baccara rose is a hybrid of a tea rose, and it features luxurious folds of deep-red petals that are tinged with an almost-black dusty hue. Unlike dyed black roses that symbolize death, the black baccara symbolizes undying hope, optimism, and expectations.
Black Flower and Plant FAQs
Black flowers are rare in that they do not occur naturally in nature. Certain flowers, plants, and hybrids have been bred to develop highly saturated purple, brown, and/or maroon pigments that give them a black appearance.
Black roses do not exist in nature. However, certain cultivars of roses have been bred to appear black or near black by creating very dark purple petals. The blackest roses have been dyed artificially to create their inky hue.
Why Are Black Plants Black?
Certain plants produce greater amounts of maroon, purple, or brown pigments than other plants. The intense saturation of these colors makes plants appear black.
What Do Black Flowers Symbolize?
In general, black flowers symbolize elegance, power, mystery, mourning, and goodbyes. In the language of flowers, black roses symbolize death, despair, and hatred.