The Magic and Mystery of our Top 10 Black Flowers
Okay, let’s not beat around the (beautifully dark) bush: there are no truly black flowers. As brilliant as blooms are they just don’t naturally make black pigments. In reality, most ‘black’ flowers are very dark shades of purple or red, but don’t disappear – this doesn’t make them any less magical.
A pure black flower would be a Holy Grail to flower breeders, a near miraculous achievement. And it’s not a recent quest, in Victorian and Edwardian times people used to collect very dark and ‘black’ flowers, going to all sorts of lengths to track down the most exotic species.
Just like them (with a little less international travel and colonialism) we’ve put together a wonderful collection of black flowers for you. We’ll take a look at black flower meanings, when there in season and our top ten favourites. Let’s go over to the dark side.
Black flower meanings
These dark, elegant blooms come with a lot of symbolism. Black flowers usually signify power, mystery and farewells. Traditionally black flowers and romance don’t mix (they’re more of a breakup bloom!) but a single black flower with a gift can be a powerful gesture, adding a touch of mystery and intrigue.
Black flower FAQs & fun facts
Are there naturally black flowers?
No. Flowers produce pigments mainly to help with photosynthesis and attracting pollinators, and black doesn’t feature among them. But there are still plenty of deliciously dark flowers about, even if they’re not true black.
The first black petunia was only created in 2010
Bred using existing colours, this extra dark bloom is incredibly striking – one of the blackest flowers going, despite it being most likely a very dark purple.
Black blooms are usually dyed
If you spot a flower that is suspiciously dark, it’s probably dye. Florists and manufacturers will place the stems of the flowers in water that contains floral dye, the blooms absorb it and it turns their petals black.
When are black flowers in season?
You’ll find all the flowers we've rounded up below blooming in the spring and summer, and some will bloom through to the autumn. By the time the dark evenings are in full swing there won’t be many black blooms to be found (unless they’ve had a little help from black dye).
Types of black flowers
Here are ten of our favourite black blooms.
These are actually a very deep burgundy or sometimes a chocolate colour, but some can be darker than others. - Season: summer through to autumn - Fun fact: some dahlias can grow to be the size of dinner plates! - Florist top tip: use black dahlias in a centrepiece for a truly striking display
These are another deep red flower, masquerading as a black one. - Season: summer - Fun fact: these cosmos are particularly loved for their scent of vanilla and, you guessed it – chocolate. - Florist top tip: leave these in the ground. They can be grown in your own garden – all they need is well-draining soil and full sun.
The black pansy is such a dark purple that it looks almost completely black. Other varieties have colourful petals with a black spot close to the middle of the flower. - Season: year-round depending on when you sow - Fun fact: the black pansy is said to attract love to the one who carries it - Florist top tip: these are great at adding joy to the garden, they’re very hardy.
These stunning, showy flowers are a dark purple-red. We love these showstoppers. - Season: summer - Fun fact: the ‘black jewel’ lily is one of the darkest varieties currently on sale in the UK - Florist top tip: these can make a great focal point in the garden but they also look magnificent in a bouquet.
Many of you will be pleased to know that you can also get your hands on the world's favourite flower in black. Although these blooms are dyed and not true black, they're still rather eye-catching. - Season: late spring through to early autumn - Fun fact: one of the darkest natural roses is the Black Baccara rose, which is a very dark red. - Florist top tip: if you’re gifting blooms to someone who loves the natural look, avoid giving these – not everyone loves dye.
These are very, very dark flowers that look black but are either maroon or purple. - Season: late spring through summer - Fun fact: incredibly rare, black calla lilies are very difficult to get hold of. - Florist top tip: they look fantastic in bouquets and make a very elegant statement.
Queen of the Night Tulip
These beautiful tulips are a dark purple. They are grown because they bloom late and provide some colour once all other plants have stopped flowering. - Season: spring - Fun fact: this lily is hailed as one of the closest to black flowers in existence and was a firm favourite of the Victorians. - Florist top tip: these tulips like full sun. Make sure you plant these in well-drained fertilised soil.
Bat Orchid / Bat Flower
This fantastic black flower has whiskers dangling down from its centre, earning it the name of the bat orchid - Season: spring to autumn if indoors. - Fun fact: bat flowers are native to the tropical areas in Southeast Asia. - Florist top tip: grow these in conservatories as they need hot and humid conditions.
Black Magic Hollyhock
These blue-black, tall, stately plants look good in any garden. - Season: mid to late summer - Fun fact: hollyhocks are very drought resistant, making them worth remembering if you’re paying attention to climate change when you’re gardening. - Florist top tip: leave these in the garden, we like them at the back of borders
Black Velvet Petunia
The world’s first all-black petunia. Rich and velvety it’s quite a sight. - Season: late spring to late autumn - Fun fact: there’s another similar variety of petunia called Pinstripe that’s black with a yellow stripe down the centre of each petal. - Florist top tip: another one to leave in the garden, pop these in with other petunias for a striking contrast.
Time for a little black magic
We hope you found our all-you-need-to-know guide to black flowers interesting. If you’re feeling inspired and ready to send a delightfully dark bouquet we can help. You can pop in a special request for darker flowers when you order and your florist will do their utmost to bring a little shade to the bouquet.