From jet black Petunias to Tulips that look like Roses, we have found some unique and interesting plants that are sure to bring excitement and conversation to your garden.
Petunia ‘Black Velvet’
Petunias are a staple of just about every summer garden. They come in a rainbow of colors, but never before in solid, velvety, jet-black. It took four years of breeding to produce this upright, compact and mounding plant. It reaches just 8-12 inches in height and produces a mass of sweetly scented, velvety black blooms from summer until frost.
Iris ‘Contrast in Styles’
At first glance, this new Siberian Iris from Wayside Gardens looks like a giant, double pansy. The striking deep plum background continues on as the purple veins bleed through the yellow and white signals like a watercolor painting. Not one to get lost in the perennial border, the 5 inch blooms arrive in early summer on sturdy 28-36 inch stems with arching foliage. As a bonus the blooms are a favorite for hummingbirds, and the plants are reportedly unappetizing for nibbling rabbits and deer. The Iris is also disease resistant.
Tulip ‘Sensual Touch’
When we first saw this new cultivar from Wayside Gardens, we thought it was a Peony or an English Rose. To our surprise, it is a tulip! It’s not hard to see why they compare this flower to a tropical sunset. The base of each unique petal is a rich tangerine, fading to apricot, yellow and rosy pink towards the jagged edges. This tulip is a late season bloomer and stands 14-17 inches tall.
Marigold ‘Mumsy Yellow’
These have to be yellow Chrysanthemums, right? Would you believe that they are Marigolds? This cultivar, seen here via Park Seed, produces a mass of 4 inch blooms from late spring until fall. Their 14 inch height, 8 inch width, and mounding habit make them ideal for container plantings. They also come in colors of orange and bright yellow. They may give the traditional Mum a run for its money.
Park’s Black Peony Poppy
The name of these beauties gets right to the point. They sure do look like Peony blossoms to us. The 4-5 inch blooms are packed with ruffled petals in a shade of maroon so deep that they appear black. The reddish hue is accentuated more as the petals shimmer in the midday sun. The plant grows to 4 feet in height, with a 12 inch spreading habit. Blooms begin in late summer. This is a plant that does best in cool dry weather.
Yellow Spider Lily
Just when summer blossoms begin to fade, these bright yellow members of the Amaryllis family burst into full bloom. The spider-like blooms arrive in groups of 5-6 on 12 inch stems. As a bonus, the grass-like foliage stays pretty all winter. The plant prefers hot, dry summers and well drained soil.
Morning Glory ‘Cotton Candy’
Just about every Southern gardener has grown Morning Glory vines at some point. They are vigorous, easy to start from seed, and even easier to maintain. Their vigor can also lead to the vine overwhelming smaller gardens. Not so with this frilly, pink, double flowering variety which works well in smaller gardens. The 6 foot vines are covered in large ruffled pink and white blooms.
Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’
We’re all accustomed to the traditional purple or white coneflowers that are the backbone of most cottage gardens. But ‘Hot Papaya’ takes the traditional to a whole new level. The 3 to 3.5 inch deep orange, double blooms are held on purple streaked stems creating an exotic color combo. It took more than a decade of breeding to produce this cultivar and the end result is not just brilliant, fade-proof coloring, but also a heat tolerant and disease resistant plant. It reached 30-36 inches in height making it perfect for a garden border.