Black flowers have a very unique appearance, but it may surprise you to know that it’s impossible for a plant to be completely black. Instead, what you see as a black flower is usually a very deep shade of blue or purple. Because they’re so rare, having a darker colored flower in your garden or arrangement can add a touch of elegance, mystery, and power to them.
The sunlight requirements differ from black flower to black flower, but most look the best when you plant them in full sun. Not only will they thrive in this environment, but the sunlight can highlight the flowers’ darkness and depth. So, if you’re trying to add some dimension to your garden, we’ve outlined 21 great black flowers below.
1. Black Bat Flower
This black flower gets the name from the unique looks that resemble a bat in flight. This is a very rare plant that has a deep black-purple ruffled flower with hanging, long filaments. Adding to the uniqueness, the seed pods look like smaller bat faces. The dark coloring is further offset by bright green, large leaves.
This is actually an orchid, and it’s a very finicky plant that needs a lot of attention and close care. They are best planted in zones 9 to 11, and they prefer to grow in moist, warm, tropical climates. It doesn’t tolerate cold climates well, and it will die if the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike a lot of black flowers, it likes dappled shade instead of full sun. Even though this exotic flower requires more work, it’s well worth the dark, moody display the flowers put on.
Black Orchid by rpphotos / CC BY-NC 2.0
2. Calla Lily ‘Black Star’
Calla lilies give you pretty trumpet-like flowers that will stand out in your garden or landscape design. This black flower will create a slightly darker mood than other cultivars or varieties, and the blooms are a very deep, burgundy-black color that grows on stems that are dark enough to match. The tubular flowers contrast sharply with the green, speckled foliage.
It will add a little welcome drama to your landscape, and the sleek look of the blooms adds modern elegance. It looks fantastic when you plant it in clumps alongside other brighter blooms or you can plant it by itself. It does well planted in container gardens or flower beds, and it’ll bloom during the late spring and summer months when planted in zones 9 to 11.
Black Star Calla Lily by CGWF / CC BY-ND 2.0
3. Columbine ‘Black Barlow’
This stunning black flower has been bred specifically for use in cut flower production, and it works well in cut flower gardens. This is the first cultivar of the Barlow series, and it offers spurless, double flowers. The blooms are a very deep plum color that is almost black, and they look like pom poms with spiky petals. The flower sits on a very long stem and towers over the greenish-gray, bushy foliage. They usually grow in clumps to create a dark spectacle that works well in a cottage garden border.
The columbine flowers bloom in the late spring or early summer months each year, but they are generally very short-lived. It has a self-seeding nature that allows them to grow very quickly under the right conditions. This plant is easy to maintain, and it thrives in a range of conditions in zones three to nine.
Aquilegia Black Barlow by Mark / CC BY 2.0
4. Cranesbill Geranium ‘Black Widow’
This geranium type has many names, including Dusky cranesbill, Mourning Widow, and Black Widow. These dark names come from the black flowers this perennial produces. The black flowers range from deep purple to dark maroon, and most of them look almost black. Even though the flowers are slightly smaller, they make a dramatic statement. The petals are concave or fold flat, and this allows the intricate centers of the flowers on display.
Blooms on this geranium rise above star-shaped or crinkled low-lying foliage. It loves shaded, dry areas, and this makes it perfect for woodland gardens. It does best in zones four to eight, and it’s a low-maintenance choice. It’s deer and rabbit-resistant, and it can spread rapidly under the right conditions, but it’s not invasive.
Geranium phaeum – Dusky cranesbill, Mourning widow or Black widow by Joost J. Bakker LJmuiden / CC BY 2.0
5. Dahlia ‘Karma Choc’
Karma Choc Dahlias are considered to be the darkest color you can get. They look like black flowers, but they’re actually a mass of velvety, dark red petals that fade to a very dark center, creating a pretty ombre effect. The flowers sit high above the plant’s foliage, and the foliage is a blue-tinted, dark burgundy color.
As the name suggests, this plant is part of the Karma collection, and it was bred specifically to have cut flowers that last a long time. The blooms have a vase life of roughly two weeks, so they fit nicely in cut flower gardens. Even though it’s bred for vase life, this plant looks wonderful in the garden. They add a touch of darkness to containers and borders, and they look nice in moody garden designs.
6. Helleborus ‘Onyx Odyssey’
These nearly black flowers on this hellebore are a dark burgundy color, and they’re highly sought-after. It’s a pretty perennial that you can easily grow in a container as long as it’s in full sun to partial shade. You’ll have to give it good air circulation all around the plant and keep the soil moist but not soaked to keep it happy.
Helleborus ‘Onyx Odyssey’ by Kath821 / CC BY-ND 2.0
7. Hollyhock ‘Nigra’
One very common flower you’ll find in gardens is the hollyhock, and they allow you to make bold statements due to the flower height and colors. The black flowered hollyhock is an even better choice, particularly this cultivar. The flowers are a very deep blackish purple color with a waxy look. The creamy, white centers help make the plant look even darker.
Since the 17th century, this black flower has added a dramatic flair to gardens, and it’s popular in bed backdrops. It blooms in mid to late summer, and it’s hardy in zones three to nine. At full maturity, this plant can easily reach between five and eight feet tall, and this makes them an excellent fence liner. It’s perfect for anyone who wants a classic look with a darker hue.
Hollyhock ‘Nigra’ by Aaron Carlson / CC BY-SA 2.0
8. Hyacinth ‘Dark Dimension’
If you’re looking for an early spring flower that is so dark it’s almost black, the Dark Dimension cultivar is a great choice. It offers bluish-purple flowers in a star shape, and they’re nearly pure black flowers. The blooms are very densely packed, and this adds to the allure. Each stem produces between 10 and 20 buds, and the stalks are thicker to support them and give you a stunning flower display. They grow in deep green foliage that gives this soft plant some angled texture.
Dark Dimension will grow well in zones four to eight, and it can survive temperatures that dip down to 20-degrees Fahrenheit and frost-filled winters. It’s a nice addition to spring gardens with brightly colored flowers, and the black flowers make the lighter colors stand out. It also has a very pretty fragrance that will attract bees and pollinators.
N79_w1150 by Biodiversity Heritage Library / CC BY 2.0
9. Iris ‘Before the Storm’
Bearded irises are extremely popular flowering perennials, and they’re a staple in many people’s gardens. They come in a huge range of colors, including extremely dark, black coloring. Before the Storm is considered to be the darkest iris you can get, and it offers deep purple blooms.
This black flower adds elegance to your garden. These stunning flowers sit above greenish-silver foliage that has a sword shape. Each stem produces roughly a dozen blooms that show up throughout the spring and summer months, and they have a very sweet scent. It looks best planted along borders or by itself in containers. The sharp foliage with the soft flowers adds texture to more modern and traditional landscapes.
Iris ‘Before the Storm’ by moccasinlanding / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
10. Iris ‘Dark Vader’
While this cultivar isn’t as dark as other options, it still produces almost black flowers. It has deep violet flowers with a dark blue beard, and it’s also unique in the fact that it’s a dwarf iris. In turn, you can use it in more spaces. The small size allows anyone who loves iris flowers to plant it in beds or small containers. It also loves water, and it is well planted along the edges of ponds. It is hardy to zones two to nine, and it enjoys a huge climate range. It will bloom in the middle of summer to early fall.
Iris ‘Dark Vader’ by Staudengärtnerei Forssman / CC BY-SA 2.0
11. Lenten Rose ‘New York Night’
Generally speaking, this plant has pastel-colored flowers. However, New York Night is a cultivar that has big dark purple blooms that are almost black flowers in a cup shape. They bloom from early spring to early winter, and look very dramatic. Their blooms are offset by glossy green foliage that will stay green throughout the year in warmer environments.
It’s hardy in zones four to nine, and it can thrive with little attention from you. It does well in poor soil and shaded conditions, and this makes it an excellent choice for deserted shady areas. It’s an eye-catching edging plant that is a nice alternative to cottage garden flowers.
Lenten Rose ‘New York Night’ by Pomax / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
12. Pansy ‘Black Beauty’
Just like violas, it’s common to see pansies in the garden, and they blend well with a range of garden designs from traditional to urban containers. This pansy cultivar is a pretty traditional flower with a moody, striking twist. These black flowers are actually a very dark purple color to add a hint of gothic flair wherever you plant them.
Adding to the allure of this black flower is that it’s a very cold-hardy cultivar that can survive frosty winters. They come up through the frost and snow in the early spring months, and they do best when you plant them in zones five to nine. To get the most out of this black flower, plant it with bright flowers to create contrast. It does wonderfully planted in shadier beds.
Pansy ‘Black Beauty’ by PhotoJeff / CC BY-NC 2.0
13. Penny Black
Penny black is a black flower that is an annual that grows low to the ground. They’re a unique addition to this list because they come with sharply contrasting white centers and edges. This slight coloring creates a very stunning look, and it makes the bloom look even darker. The bright green foliage also offers a very nice contrast, and the bloom sits close to the foliage.
They only get about four inches tall, and they’re shorter annuals. The unique color and the height make them nice filler plants, and they’re great in hanging baskets or containers or as a ground cover. They bloom from the spring months into the summer, and they grow best in zones 2 to 11. They’re low-maintenance plants that don’t require a lot of attention from you.
Penny Black by Jonathan Lidbeck / CC BY 2.0
14. Persian Lily
The Persian Lily is a bulbous perennial with a black flower that means death and mourning. The black flowers are actually a very, very deep plum color, and they grow in a bell shape. The flowers grow on tall spikes, and it’s easy to get up to 20 flowers on each flower spike. The soft shape of this flower adds drama to your garden without taking over the space.
Your lily will make a nice addition to bulb beds to help you create an eye-catching display when you plant them en masse. Since they’re spring blooms, you can group them with other spring plants to create a dramatic look. It thrives in zones four to eight, and it’s a very low-maintenance plant that doesn’t need much to thrive.
Persian Lily by Marcy Leigh / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
15. Petunia ‘Black Velvet’
First developed in 2010, this cultivar is now the darkest flower available on the market. This black flower was the first black petunia on the market. They have a very unique trumpet shape with a very dark hue, and the trumpet shape attracts butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. The petals also have a very soft, velvety feel, and this is where the name comes from. The light green foliage offsets the flower color.
This dark bloom can create a minimalist, modern look if you plant them in groups. However, they also do well planted in beds with brightly colored flowers. They bloom in the spring, summer, and fall months, and they grow exceptionally well in zones 9 to 11. This plant is generally easy to care for, but they do need some protection from the heavy rain, cold, and winds as they’re not a very strong flower.
Petunia ‘Black Velvet’ by meggle / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
16. Rose ‘Black Baccara’
Black Baccara is actually a hybrid tea rose, and it has dark, deep maroon petals that make it look like a black flower. It was first developed in 2005, and it’s one of the darkest flowers on the market. There are other dark flowers on the market, but none come as close to black as this one. The rose is an extremely full flower, and it has velvet-like blackish-red petals. The dramatic flair of this rosebush is increased even more by the glossy and dark green foliage.
There is a long flowering season with this black flower, and it blooms in flushes between the spring months and fall. It’s hardy to zones five to nine, and it’ll tolerate most conditions and climates. It needs to be planted in full sun to thrive, and it attracts a host of pollinators and butterflies to wherever you plant it. You’ll also get a delightfully moody feel.
Rose ‘Black Baccara’ by T.Kiya / CC BY-SA 2.0
17. Snapdragon ‘Black Prince’
Snapdragons are pretty plants that come in a huge range of colors, and the Black Prince is a cultivar that works well in much darker gardens to add a touch of drama or to contrast with the brighter flowers. This cultivar has been around for more than 100 years, and it’s one of the few heirloom plants on the list to be very popular. It produces crimson black flowers, and the stems also come with a maroon or bronze hue that adds to the overall look. This intense flower can easily top three feet tall at full maturity.
Black Prince is a cultivar that will bloom in late summer into the early fall months, and it’s perfect for cooler weather. It’s hardy in zones 7 to 10, but it can do well in colder zones if you grow it as an annual instead of a perennial. It looks very well in containers or if you plant it with colorful plants in a highly contrasting bed of flowers.
Snapdragon ‘Black Prince’ by peganum / CC BY-SA 2.0
18. Sweet William ‘Sooty’
This cultivar is a slightly dark twist on a favorite plant for cottage gardens. The flowers are a pretty chocolate red color, and they’re almost black flowers. They sit over a cluster of bronze colored leaves. The center of these darker blooms are a stunning white, and this creates wonderful contrast.
This plant will produce blooms throughout the spring and summer months, and it’s a great companion plant for tulips. If you plant Sooty Sweet Williams alongside Queen of the Night Tulips, you’ll get a gorgeous black flower garden. It also makes a stunning cut flower for bouquets.
Sweet William 2021 05 31 02 by David Siebold / CC BY-NC 2.0
19. Tulip ‘Queen of Night’
Tulips are extremely sought-after flowers, but this particular cultivar’s color palette has a very dark aesthetic. It has a very deep maroon coloring, and the reddish hue is so dark that it’s close to black. In fact, this is the darkest tulip you can get on the current market. This is another heirloom plant, and it has been around since the 1940s. It has a dramatic but classic look when you plant them en masse in dark blocks or peppered in the middle of colorful tulips.
Tulips are very easy plants to grow, and this cultivar is no different. It’s hardy to zones three to eight, and it likes to be in full sun over a shady spot. You can snip these dark flowers from their stems and use them to create a stunning display in a cut flower bouquet. However, tulips are very toxic to pets, so you want to keep them away from your dogs or cats.
Queen of the Night by Colin Charles / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
20. Viola ‘Blackout’
Violas are a classic flower to add to gardens, and they work best in cottage-style gardens or window boxes in balcony gardens. Blackout violas offer something different for this very popular flower as you get velvety black flowers. The bright green foliage and cheerful yellow eye provide further contrast.
The Blackout viola is not only popular for their looks, but also for their sweet scent and how easy they are to grow. They flourish in a range of conditions in zones 6 to 10. They can grow in a full sun location, but they like partial shade in hotter areas. They’re vulnerable to damage from frost, and they will need protection in the winter. This elegant bloom works well as a ground cover, but you can also add them to rock gardens.
Viola Blackout by SoulRider.222 / CC BY-ND 2.0
21. Western Coneflower ‘Green Wizard’
Coneflowers are pretty plants, and they add unique shapes and textures to your flower beds because they have flaring petals and exposed middle areas. The Western Coneflower is one of the three genera that exist for coneflowers, and it offers black flowers.
This is a unique cultivar that offers acorn-shaped flowers in a dark purple hue. These cones sit on light green sepals, and this makes the darker colors pop. They have a rim of bright yellow pollen that attracts a host of pollinators and creates even more contrast. Green Wizard will get roughly five feet tall, and it works well in the back rows of your flower beds. It gives a unique spin to modern and traditional gardens. It thrives in zones three to nine, but it’s not tolerant to drought like other coneflowers in the family.
Western Coneflower ‘Green Wizard’ by photogramma1 / CC BY-SA 2.0
These 21 black flowers add a stunning depth and drama to any container, flower bed, or garden design. You can mix and match them to create a pretty contrast between the light and bright blooms and enjoy these moody flowers all growing season long.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.