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If you prefer to plant your garden with bulbs, corms, tubers or rhizomes, you can still have black or almost black colored plants. Although many of these tropical or tender perennial they will grow in cooler climates and will just need dug up and stored overwinter. Some good choices are:
Arisamea sikokianum, Arum pictim, Asarum maximum or magnificum, Biarum tenuifolium, Cosmos astrosanguineus, Dracunculus vulgaris, Fritillaria (several varieties), Hemerocallis (single and double flowered varieties), Iris (several varieties), Orchids (again several varieties), Tulipa and Zantedeschia 'Schwarzwalder.'
The degree of blackness will vary depending on your soil, planting location, etc.
Depending on what part of the country you are in, here are some good choices for annuals, biennials and tender perennials that are black or near black.
Alcea rosea 'Nigra,' Centaurea 'Black Ball,' Dianthius - several black varieties, Kennedia Nigricans (Black Coral Pea), Lardizabalata Biternata (Zabala Fruit), Akebia quinata, Nemophila ingignis 'Penny Balck.' Papaver somniferum 'Guinness, 'Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Ace Of Spades,' and Tacca Chantrieri (Bat Plant).
These all vary in the shade of black that they sport but are all good choices.
For those of you who prefer to plant perennials you have some great choices for dark colored plants. They are:
Aquilegia (several varieties), Geranium phaeum (several varieties), Hellebores (again, several choices), Penstemon 'Midnight,' Primula and Viola (a huge selection.
Many of these plants come in plain black or the flower may have another color in it, either way, they are easy to care for and will come back year after year.
For those of you who still prefer perennials, there are many choices here in dark colored foliage. They are:
Heuchera americana 'Palace Purple,' Lobelia fulgens, Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker' and Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens.
There are also other varieties available, but these were the darkest looking.
Who says trees, shrubs and grasses have to be green? Check out these dark colored varieties and add a little variety to your landscape. Choices include:
Acer palmatum (several choices), Coprosma repens, Cornus alba 'Kesselringii,' Corylus maxima 'Purpurea' and Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Tom Thumb.'
Although some of these have green in them or are known for their dark colored stems, a perfect addition to winter landscaping.
If you want to add some dark colored foliage in to your flower beds just to see how well you like it, try these choices in annuals, biennials and tender perennials. Be aware that the biennials should come back every other year. Your options include:
Acalypha wilkesiana 'Can Can,' Aeonium arboreum 'Schwarzkopf,' Beta vulgaris 'Macgregor's Favourite,' Oxalis triangularis and Perilla frutescens (several varieties).
|Sheri Ann Richerson|