Petunia is the new black. Adored by designers and admired by breeders, Petunia Black Velvet is the new darling in a trend towards black-flowered plants. The cultivar dazzled last season's garden shows, and will be darkening this year's gardens. "We're always trying to push the boundaries," says Stuart Lowen, marketing manager of Ball Horticulture, who developed Petunia Black Velvet (Petunia x hybrida). "The public always want something that's a novelty.