7.07.2006

Like black blood

A rather gruesome description for a flower that's really very pretty. I was a bit skeptical when I bought these plants last year. I love old-fashioned flowers like hollyhocks, but BLACK?? Who would want black flowers? I didn't know what to expect and the plants were very young so I didn't get a chance to see what they looked like until now. Yes, they're unusual, but they look spectacular against the white of my house. And they aren't really black—more like a very dark burgundy.

Black Hollyhock (Alcea rosea nigra) was described as early as 1629 by John Parkinson, as being "of a darke red like black blood," an apt description for the large single flowers that grace this plant in June and July.

9 comments:

Lauren said...

Those are spectacular, especially with the red flowers in front. Really those are something special.

Carrie said...

My mom planted some black hollihocks a couple of years ago, and they really are spectactular! Beautiful photo - thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

I just planted my hollyhock this year...I love when something planted the previous year finally blooms, it's like a little surprise! And your bee balm looks great!

One Little Monkey said...

Those are really striking. I would plan black flowers, just because they are so different.

My goal next year is to have a pink garden. My husband might kill me, but I want to plant a bunch of pink stuff!

Rhainnon said...

They are stunning! I love the contrast look. My rented house has a garden in shambles. The dirt is clay. I wish I had a green thumb to turn it all around and make it grow something like this!

tlc illustration said...

I love black hollyhocks. I've also taken to planting black pansies (which are VERY, very dark purple). If you use them to make sorbet, you end up with a gorgeous, deep violet colored dessert that tastes subtly of wintergreen...

jenn-na-na said...

Hi, I stumbled upon your blog via a google search for hollyhocks.

Oh do tell where you got these seeds! I LOVE them they're gorgeous.. black hollyhocks?? Be still, my heart!

janet said...

These were purchased as plants at my local garden center but I just did a google search for "seeds for black hollyhocks" and there were tons of options. It sounds like if you plant seed they won't flower until the second year.

This is a pretty old post now and they did not make it to the next year. We had a very late snow the following spring and I think that may have done them in. I'd definitely try them again, though.

jenn-na-na said...

I realize this was an old post, but I still thought it deserved a comment! I'm sorry they didn't last. Crazy how the garden changes!! Thanks for the info. Cheers!