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Actaea simplex 'Black Negligee' NCG 756 Actaea simplex 'Black Negligee'
Baneberry, Bugbane

Formerly known as Cimicifuga racemosa, this tall, dynamic plant produces bold cut foliage of a deep burgundy colour - almost black. Racemes of tiny, white or pinkish flowers appear on tall, arching stems in summer. Highly recommended.

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Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' NCG 499 Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'
Tree aeonium, Tree houseleek, Irish rose

Description coming soon.

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Alcea rosea Ex. 'Jet Black' NCG 302 Alcea rosea Ex. 'Jet Black'
Hollyhock, Ex. 'Jet Black'

Deepest, deepest red-purple - as close to black as you can get! Although strictly speaking a perennial, this very popular cottage garden plant is best treated as a biennial, particularly since it can be susceptible to rust. These are very tall plants and some support is recommended.

NOTE: Since…

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Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing' NCG 278 Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'
Black-leaved Cow Parsley

The finely divided, ferny, deep-purple, almost black leaves of this unusual plant make a lovely contrast with other plants, particularly those that have predominantly light-green foliage. The flat heads of tiny flowers are white with small pink bracts. Please note that not all plants produced from the seeds offered will…

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Aquilegia vulgaris Ex. 'William Guiness' NCG 570 Aquilegia vulgaris Ex. 'William Guiness'
Aquilegia 'Magpie', Columbine, Granny's Bonnet

Known both as A. 'Magpie' and A. 'William Guinness', this striking variety has deep red-purple (almost black) sepals and spurs and white-edged 'blades' - the modified petals at the centre of the flower.

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Dahlia Ex. 'Bishop of Auckland' NCG 297 Dahlia Ex. 'Bishop of Auckland'
Dahlia Ex. 'Bishop of Auckland'

The seeds or plants on offer are either from 'Bishop of Llandaff' or 'Bishop of Auckland'. Although they are not expected to breed true, all my own sowings have resulted in plants with black foliage and flowers that strongly resembe the parents. Although generally considered tender, dahlias will very often…

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Dianthus barbatus Ex. nigrescens 'Sooty' NCG 432 Dianthus barbatus Ex. nigrescens 'Sooty'
Sweet William, black

These seeds were collected exclusively from this variety but it cannot be guaranteed that all will breed true, though they should produce a high proportion of dark-red to almost black blooms. Although strictly speaking a short-lived perennial, usually treated as a biennial.

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Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald 'n' Gold' NCG 407 Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald 'n' Gold'
Winter creeper 'Emerald 'n' Gold'

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Geranium phaeum, various NCG 507 Geranium phaeum, various
Dusky cranesbill

Although a British native, Geranium phaeum is perhaps more commonly seen as a cultivated garden plant, particularly in colours singled out as particularly attractive. These appear in Spring and range from deepest-purple to near-white. The lobed or divided foliage varies in colour too, from mid to dark green, often with…

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Helleborus x hybridus NCG 273 Helleborus x hybridus
Lenten rose

There are many hellebores growing in the garden, in a variety of colours, from dark red (sometimes double) to pink, white and cream, some with intricate specking or streaking. Although seeds listed (when available) are saved and offered separately from different coloured plants, it cannot be guaranteed that they will…

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Hibiscus trionum NCG 054 Hibiscus trionum
Flower-of-an-Hour, Venice Mallow, Bladder hibiscus, Bladder ketmia

This delightful plant, which is usually treated as an annual in the UK, produces creamy flowers with dark burgundy centres on stems clothed with dark green, lobed leaves. Each flower only lasts a day but in the right conditions it will bloom profusely, followed by very attractive seed pods, throughout…

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Hyoscyamus niger NCG 026 Hyoscyamus niger
Black Henbane, Stinking Nightshade

Black henbane produces soft, downy leaves and strange, but beautiful, pale creamy-yellow flowers intricately veined in purple. The seed pods are also rather attractive; they have a little round lid which falls off when the pods are ripe, releasing the seeds. All parts of the plant are toxic.

The whole plant…

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Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker' NCG 394 Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker'
Fringed loosestrife 'Firecracker'

The picture does not really do this plant justice. Attractive, deep-purple rosettes of rounded leaves appear in early spring, followed by tall spikes of more pointed leaves which bear small, yellow, star-shaped flowers along their length. Although moist - even wet - soil is recommended, mine grow in a dry,…

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Nemophila discoides 'Total Eclipse' NCG 189 Nemophila discoides 'Total Eclipse'
Black nemophila

A profusion of blooms no more than an inch across, coloured deep purple - almost black - with white edges. A lovely statement at the front of the border or tumbling from hanging baskets and planters.

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Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal' (Organic) NCG 479 Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal' (Organic)
Basil 'Dark Opal'

A dark-purple variety of basil, with smaller, more toothed leaves than the more commonly-grown Sweet Genovese. Great for adding contrasting colour to salads and tomato dishes. For companion planting enthusiasts, basil is said to encourage the growth of tomatoes, peppers and chillies!

NOTE: These are externally sourced, organic seeds.

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Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' Syn. 'Kokuryu' NCG 253 Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' Syn. 'Kokuryu'
Lilyturf, Ornamental Black Grass, Black mondo grass

Although, true to its common name, this evergreen plant is both ornamental and black, it is not a grass! It forms clumps of glossy, purple-black leaves (some may occasionally be dark-green), with spikes of pale purplish-pink flowers in autumn, followed by glossy black berries. It grows only about 6 inches…

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Papaver orientale 'Checkers' NCG 571 Papaver orientale 'Checkers'

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Pelargonium sidoides NCG 262 Pelargonium sidoides
Kalwerbossie geranium, Silverleaf geranium

This very dainty species pelargonium/geranium, which originates from Africa, has circular, crinkled, silver-grey-green, aromatic leaves about an inch across and clusters of small, deep magenta - almost black - flowers on fine, long, wiry stems. Like most pelargoniums, it is frost tender, but it will sit happily on a sunny…

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Persicaria virginiana var. filiformis 'Lance Corporal' NCG 498 Persicaria virginiana var. filiformis 'Lance Corporal'
Virginia knotweed, Jumpseed 'Lance Corporal'

An interesting shrubby perennial with strong, v-shaped markings (looking rather like bats), which are dark brownish-red - sometimes almost black - on a bright green ground. In the autumn delicate spikes of bright-crimson flowers appear on thin, wiry stems. Although it is recommended to grow in part or full shade…

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Phytolacca acinosa Syn. esculenta NCG 201 Phytolacca acinosa Syn. esculenta
Indian Pokeweed, Inkberry, Pidgeonberry

Although invariably referred to as American pokeweed (P. decandra Syn. americana), the variety seen in UK gardens is almost certainly Indian pokeweed (P. asinosa Syn. esculenta). Both look very similar, but P. acinosa has vertical, upright inflorescences, whilst P. americana has lax, dangling, flower stems, with single, spherical fruits on…

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