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Taylor Murphy's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Perennials with Black Color for Southern California.

Taylor Murphy

Cavalo Nero - Brassica oleracea ssp. Acephala Cavalo Nero
This is a good Kale to use as an ornamental among other plants, and is edible. Looks very good in light colored soups such as chicken soups, and in red or orange soups. Although not truly black, but a deep dark green, that when cooked looks black.
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Black Mondo Grass - Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'
Black grass - great for unsual spots and containers. Blackest of all 'black' plants.
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New Zealand Flax - Phormium
'Morticia', and 'Platt's Black' are the darkest flaxes. These hybrids are both black in color. Well worth the trouble to locate.
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Black Elderberry - Sambucus nigra
Great ornamental shrub that LIKES CLAY SOILS! (which we plenty of in San Diego) The intense purple black foliage is finely cut, giving it an effect similar to that of a Japanese Maple. Best in full sun, it can be used as a dramatic accent plant, planted en masse for a trouble free high hedge, or incorporated into a perennial border. The berries it produces make an excellent jelly or wine.
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Black Bat Flower - Tacca Chantrieri
Native to India, nearly black flower that looks like a black bat in flight. The center of the flower will rsemble a small bat face. These plants are native to India, Malaysia and some of the islands in the Indo-Pacific region. Measuring 3 inches across with whiskers up 12 inches long, the plant itself is also smaller growing to about 24 inches tall. Can be ordered online thru nuseries in Florida and grown locally, coastal only and in pots.

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