Black Daylilies - dark red and purple Hemerocallis
Time was Dayliles came in only bright orange and bright yellow. But plant breeders have turned these "Ditch Daylilies" into a rainbow of colors from palest yellow to darkest purple, and on to very nearly black. Actual Black is a pipe dream as Hemerocallis does not have a black gene. Still, these Daylilies come pretty close.
Most have contrasting brightly colored throats, and on first glance they look pretty similar, but, in fact, they all have their own unique selling points. If it's elegance you're looking for then try Hemerocallis 'American Revolution', while Hemerocallis 'Night Embers' is the most unusual.
High-performance modern tetraploid varieties include Hemerocallis 'Black Briar Bay', Hemerocallis Black Lapis, Hemerocallis Black Stocking and 'Hemerocallis Midnight Magic. Of these, 'Black Lapis' stands out as perhaps the best all-rounder. It's also the earliest to flower.
The blackest? Probably Hemerocallis Jungle Beauty or Hemerocallis 'Black Emanuelle'.
Hemerocallis 'American Revolution'
Dark Red Daylily
This is a velvety chocolate red daylily with a golden throat and bright green leaves.
'American Revolution' is a dormant, reblooming daylily, which flowers midseason - in June and July. Height is 28" (70cm). Flowers are large, star-shaped - 5.5" (14cm) and colorfast, even in wet weather.
Hemerocallis 'Bela Lugosi'
Popular rich purple Daylily
Not as black as other Daylilies here, Hemerocallis 'Bela Lugosi' has large (6", 15cm) dark purple flowers with lime-green centres, similar in form to 'Black Lapis'.
Like 'Black Lapis', it's also a tetraploid daylily, but bloom season is later (midseason), it's semi-evergreen with a diurnal bloom habit and scapes are longer (33" 82cm).
Hemerocallis Black Ambrosia - Elegant Nearly Black Daylily
This Daylily has similar broad-petalled single flowers to 'Black Emanuelle', but it's a little less black and flowers are a little smaller.
A semi-evergreen, midseason bloomer, which grows to 30in (75cm).
Hemerocallis 'Black Emanuelle'
Fragrant Black Daylily
A purple-black - perhaps the blackest - diploid semi-evergreen Daylily with simple broad petals and a bright greeny orange throat. Flowers are fragrant and 5in (13cms) across.
Hemerocallis Black Emanuelle grows to about 30in (75 inches) in sun or part shade.
Hemerocallis 'Black Briar Bay'
Very dark red tetraploid Daylily
Velvety red-black Daylily with a yellow centre and large overlapping petals. Flowers are 5.5" (14cm) on 27" (67cm) scapes.
This is a semi-evergreen, tetraploid, diurnal Daylily, which flowers midseason.
Hemerocallis 'Black Briar Bay' was introduced in 1996.
Hemerocallis Black Lapis - High-end dark wine-purple Daylily
Colorfast, vigorous, ruffled, serrated, pleated and velvety, 'Black Lapis' will earn its keep, which is just as well, as it's not cheap. What's more it has gorgeous lime-green centers, tall scapes (28", 70cm long) and large reblooming flowers (5.75" 14.5cm).
Hemoracallis 'Black Lapis' is an extra early, tetraploid, evergreen Daylily with an extended bloom habit. A shoo-in for best black newcomer, it was introduced in 2004.
Hemerocallis Black Friar
Tall purple-black Daylily
The tallest near-black Daylily here, Black Friar has scapes to 40" (90cm), bearing 5" (12.5cm) purple-black flowers.
It's diploid, dormant and flowers midseason to late.
Hemerocallis Black Falcon - Exquisite dark small-flowered Daylily
Introduced in 1941, 'Black Falcon' was once the blackest Daylily around. Since then other, blacker, varieties have been bred. Among them 'Black Knight', which is actually a descendent of Black Falcon.
While Black Falcon might not be the blackest Daylily today, it is exquisite. A star within a star, its glowing yellow center spearing its dark red spidery petals.
Flowers are small - 4.5" (11cm) across, carried at 32" (70cm), appearing midseason.
Hemerocallis Black Knight
Hard to find dark red Daylily
Old-style black Daylily bred in 1953. Diploid, evergreen and diurnal, it has dark red flowers.
Hemerocallis Black Magic - Tall later bloomer
Tall - scapes are 38" (95cm) tall - dark maroon flowers with yellow throats. A useful mid to late season bloomer, Hemerocallis 'Black Magic' is diurnal, dormant and diploid.
Hemerocallis Black Moon
Fragrant dark violet flowers
This is a fragrant near black Daylily. Mid-sized flowers (5.5" 14cm) are carried on 28" (70cm) long scapes. Centers are green.
Hemoracallis 'Black Moon' is semi-evergreen, diploid, a midseason bloomer and its bloom habit is extended. It was introduced in 1994.
Hemerocallis Black Plush - Velvety dark maroon Daylily
Graceful reblooming Daylily with long spidery petals with paler stripes. Grows to about 30" (75cm). Flowers - 6" (15cm) across - appear in May to July depending on zone (midseason).
Hemerocallis Black Plush is diurnal and tetraploid.
Hemerocallis Black Stocking - Overflowing purple petals
Luxurious and abundant, 'Black Stockings' has ruffled, overlapping petals around a starry golden center coupled with dark green leaves, which are also semi-evergreen. A free flowerer, this is a midseason rebloomer, diurnal, tetraploid Daylily.
Scape height is 24" (60cm) and flowers are 6" (15cm) across. Another newcomer, Hemerocallis 'Black Stockings' was introduced in 2006.
Hemerocallis Jungle Beauty - Almost black Daylily
Another very close to black Daylily, 'Jungle Beauty' has dark burgundy flowers with golden throats, darker centers and nearly black stamens.
Flowers are large - 6" (15cm), appearing midseason. Hemerocallis 'Jungle Beauty' is dormant, diurnal, diploid and fragrant. It was introduced in 1990.
Hemerocallis Midnight Magic - An early and reliable bloomer
This is a good early and midseason extended bloomer.
Brown-black petals darker near the center contrast with a yellow-green throat. Flowers are 5.5" (14cm) on 28" (70cm) scapes. Hemerocallis 'Midnight Magic' is tetraploid, evergreen and it was bred in 1979.
Hemerocallis 'Night Embers' - Eye-catching dark cherry-red Daylily
A unique frothy Daylily with silver piping and dark veins, 'Night Embers' has petal-packed small double flowers of 5" (12.5cm), which appear in early midseason. It's also tetraploid, semi-evergreen, fragrant and diurnal.
What Looks Good With Black
Black is as versatile in the garden as it is in the wardrobe, looking great with most other colors.
Hot colors - bright reds and oranges, look fantastic with black, which acts as a foil for them. Try Red Hot Pokers, red tulips, bright red poppies (Papaver Bracteum), Cannas and even pelargoniums.
Actually, earlier flowering daylilies make useful companions for ornamental onions and tulips, hiding their dying foliage with their own abundant grassy leaves. Black tulips to go with your black daylilies include Tulip Black Parrot, Tulip Black Swan, and Tulip 'Queen of the Night'. You could add in a black Columbine, such as Aquilegia 'Black Barlow', which also flowers in spring.
Erythronium 'Pagoda' will give you contrasting yellow flowers and broad foliage.