Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm) 36-48 in. (90-120 cm) 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
Spacing: 9-12 in. (22-30 cm) 12-15 in. (30-38 cm) 15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade Light Shade
Bloom Color: Fuchsia (Red-Purple) White/Near White
Bloom Time: Mid Summer
Flower Shape: Recurved
Bloom Size: 3" to 6" (76 mm to 150 mm)
Color Pattern: Spotted Papillae
Other details: Flowers are fragrant Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater Suitable for growing in containers
Soil pH requirements: 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
On Aug 1, 2010, delil72 from Monmouth Beach, NJ wrote:
This plant is pretty but very dissapointing in the fragrance department (I'm all about fragrance with my lilies...) ... It is quite short in its first couple of years but takes on a much more stately, elegant shape as it matures. No scent whatsoever (though many sources state it is fragrant) ... I prefer my highly scented and similar colored stargazers ...
'Black Beauty' is a classic lily than everyone should grow. There are a couple of comments I'd like to make though regarding its description and cultivation. It should not be listed as fragrant. If you have an incredibly sensitive nose, you may detect the barest hint of fragrance after nightfall but most people detect nothing. Nor is the color what people tend to think of as fuchsia. Its a deep wine-red with a thin border of white outling the petals and a prominent green nectary. It can easily grow to over 7' tall when provided with optimal cultivation. The bulbs of this lily also divide into multiple "noses" quite quickly and are best lifted, pulled apart and spread out every 3 to 4 years. This is defintely a maintenance issue so be forwarned. However, if you don't care to lift them as often as that, a congested clump of bulbs will produce many, shorter stems with fewer flowers per stem but will make an almost shrub-like impression in the lanscape and will still be very showy. If you want the 7' tall stems with 30-40 buds per stem though, you'll need to divide them often. Also, be aware that the new shoots coming up in the spring (way too early!) are tolerant of only the lightest frost and need protection from hard frost/freezes. One of the best characteristics of this lily is that it needs no staking. Most of the bulbs in commerce are tetraploid and have "beefier" stems as a result. As with all lilies though, they will lean away from anything that casts shadows so try to plant them in an open, exposed area with as much sun as possible.
This is just a note about saving seed from Black Beauty. Fortunately for me, one of the folks (esw) with whom I shared the sterile (unbeknownst to me) seed of this lily was knowledgeable about lilies. She looked up Black Beauty in her McCrae lily book which said that Black Beauty, although sterile in diploid form, has been used to create some gorgeous hybrids when "induced to tetraploidy".
I seem to recall reading that doubling the chromosomes of diploid seed by treating with an extract of colchicine changes them to tetraploid seeds.
To find out more about this process, the DG Lily Forum and the North American Lily Society would be good sources.
Maxine shared with me that one good way to ascertain whether a lily seed is viable or sterile is to hold it up against a bright light. If there's a speck inside, chances are good it's viable. Otherwise, it's just a husk.
Edited to add that I have just been informed that most Black Beauty lilies sold these days are tetraploid, so happy pollinating, everyone. (Thank you mnorberry)
ps - I have horrible woodchuck problems - we trap and relocate them with a Havahart cage, but Woody has his own time schedule and usually takes a few bites of this and that before finally waltzing into Ol' Havahart. But he leaves Black Beauty alone - maybe because it comes up through smelly Ol' Nepeta siberica 'Souvenir d'Andre Chaudron' (spelling?)? Lemon southern (Artemisia abrotanum is another smelly herb with which to mask bulbs susceptible to critters...and lavender...etc.
This is another of my 2006 garden additions having arrived here on May 6, 2006 and planted the same day. I ordered two bulbs (one for back-up) and planted them about 12" apart. Both grew well beyond my expectations to approximately 40"; and both bloomed beautifully with at least 6-8 buds per stem! That is remarkable in itself. The stems were strong enough, I did not need to stake them even though they were a little top-heavy. This was one of those 'investments' in gardening that paid big dividends: Simply gorgeous!
On Jun 25, 2006, keyi from Yukon, OK (Zone 7b) wrote:
Very hardy bulb in my garden, producing tall, strong stems with lots of beautiful, downward facing flowers. One bulb gets morning sun and the flowers have larger green throats than the bulb that gets all day sun. The all day sun bulb flowers are slightly larger though.
Did very well for a year old plant. Created two bloom stalks with the smaller stock producing the best flowers. Grown with mulch, under the eaves of south side of home, staked, mulched and amended soil with frequent watering to prevent drying. In very rapid well draining soil.
On Mar 28, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:
'Black Beauty' can reach 7 feet when happy--mine only run to 5 feet. This lily is very vigorous, fragrant, and should be considered by any fan of Oriental Lilies. Deep burgundy-red flowers.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Kenai, Alaska Arcata, California La Jolla, California San Jose, California Grand Junction, Colorado Tallahassee, Florida Chicago, Illinois Des Plaines, Illinois Divernon, Illinois Mackinaw, Illinois Rockford, Illinois Logansport, Indiana Macy, Indiana Inwood, Iowa Durham, Maine South China, Maine Ellicott City, Maryland (2 reports) Ann Arbor, Michigan Bay City, Michigan Kalamazoo, Michigan Florence, Mississippi Natchez, Mississippi Sparks, Nevada Denville, New Jersey White Horse, New Jersey Pittsford, New York Elizabeth City, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina Belfield, North Dakota Pekin, North Dakota Yukon, Oklahoma Harbeck-fruitdale, Oregon Portland, Oregon East Lansdowne, Pennsylvania East Norriton, Pennsylvania Mercer, Pennsylvania Middle Valley, Tennessee Richmond, Texas Leesburg, Virginia Alger, Washington Chimacum, Washington Kalama, Washington Vancouver, Washington Buffalo, West Virginia