'Annabelle' Hydrangea

'Annabelle' Hydrangea

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Black Magic For Your Garden

Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri) looks out of this world. The unique bat-shaped flowers can grow 12" across with "whiskers" that are 28-inches long. Bat flowers bloom in August-September. This intriguing plant is from the Yunnan Province, China. It gets 36" inches tall. Bat flowers are hardy in zones 10-11. There is also a white form. Bat flowers are at home in sunrooms, greenhouses or on hot, humid shady porches. Plant them in well-drained soil.

These and the other black plants shown below are available from Van Bourgondien and may be purchased at http://www.dutchbulbs.com/.

Giant Dinner Plate Dahlias add a lot of drama to the back of the border in late summer and fall. 'Black Wizard' has deep maroon-black 8"-10" blooms. Dahlias make wonderful cut flowers. 'Black Wizard' dahlias are hardy in zones 8-10. Dig and store them in a frost-free location during the winter if you live in a colder zone.

'Black Magic' Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic') have gigantic tropical foliage that will leave gardeners spellbound. 'Black Magic' gets 40"-45" tall in part shade and moist soil. It is hardy in zones 10-11. Lift and store bulbs indoors during winter in colder parts of the country...

Who doesn't love low-maintenance daylilies (Hemerocallis) in the sunny border? 'Black Stockings' has large, dark purple-black flowers. It is a mid-season rebloomer and is semi-evergreen. 'Black Stockings' grow 25"-30" high.

A Study in Black and White...This enchanting mix of Asiatic Lilies blooms in June/July. Plants may grow between 20"-60" tall in full sun to partial shade. (All Photo Sources/Plant Sources=www.dutchbulbs.com)

Plants From The Dark Side...

'Queen of the Night' tulips are a popular, single, late-blooming variety. They are regarded as the darkest tulips available. Plant them with white pansies. (Photo Source= donegalgardensociety.net)

Upright Black Elephant Ears (Alocasia plumbea 'Nigra') are hardy in zones 8-11. They grow between 30"-48" high. (Photo Source=Van Bourgondien or www.dutchbulbs.com)

Black Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea 'Watchman') grew in Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello. (Photo Source=Bluebird Nursery, Inc.)

Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon p. Niger) is a 6"-8" tall groundcover that adds mystery to any garden. Plant it in sun or partial shade. (Photo Source=Heronswood Nursery)

'Blackie' Sweet Potato Vines grow quickly during the hot summer months.

In the mid-1990s, the gardening staff at UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens put together a "Dark Collection" of plants that had black or almost black foliage or flowers. Since then, black plants have become en vogue. There are exciting, new, black plants being introduced on the market every year.

Be forewarned that some black plants are not actually a true black, but more of a dark purple or burgundy.

Black plants look great paired with white blooms, as well as hot colors, like Halloween orange. Use them to cast a spell over your garden...