True black plants are nonexistent in nature, but some of these sumptuous gems exhibit shades of the deepest purple. For contrast and sheer beauty, they’re intriguing additions to your garden or home.
1. Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Illusion Midnight Lace'). This low-maintenance plant with cascading foliage works well in containers or as an annual ground cover. Zone 9. Sun.
2. Small Cape Rush (Chondropetalum tectorum). This plant has strappy green leaves with brown sheaths that drop in summer, leaving behind a dark band, followed by brownish-black flowers that emerge from its tips late in the season. Zones 9 and 10. Drought tolerant; full sun.
3. Black Cotton (Gossypium herbaceum ‘Nigra’). This ornamental cotton can grow as high as three feet. Its rich black leaves and burgundy hibiscus-like flowers give way to seedpods that, when ripe, open to reveal fluffy white cotton. Zone 4. Full sun.
4. Hens and Chicks (Echeveria ‘Black Prince’). A succulent with short rosette clumps of dark leaves, this plant has salmon-red flowers that appear in late season. It’s ideal in containers, in rock gardens, or as the edge of a dry border. Zone 9. Full sun (for best color).