"Black" Coleus

Zephyrhills, FL

When I lived in Portland, Oregon I bought the "blackest" coleus I have ever seen. It came from a store chain there called Fred Myers.It ws rather expensive. I don't remember the cultivar's name. It truly did look black from 20 feet away. I cannot find it on the internet. It is much darker than Palindrome. Any ideas on what it could be? Thanks.

New Hyde Park, NY

The darkest Coleus that I have is "Theater Velvet" and it is a very dark burgundy and does look black from a distance. Here is a link:


Is that the one that you are looking for?

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

There are a number of very dark coleuses that look black from 20 feet away, even from 5 feet away. In addition, some are blacker depending on the amount of light they get, i.e., the pink in the center will show a bit with a lot of light. Black star comes to mind, but there are a number of others.

Keep in mind that you may have a black plant and order the same plant and find that they are not the same due to different growing conditions. Theatre Velvet is very dark, and Trailing Black is very dark with think green margins. check out Midnight Rambler and Black Prince.

Around here coleus plants sold in nurseries are often in greenhouses or filtered light or shaded areas. I have noticed that this year's selections have not been so plentiful as prior years in terms of varieties. Plenty of plants, not a lot of variety and not a lot of new varieties. I've purchased about eight or so this year, replacing my favorite Henna which I lost due to a very busy winter and my own negligence.

When you look at photos on line, they may or may not be accurate. If you order and receive the plant that looks like the photo, your conditions may alter its coloration.

My blackest coleus is Purple Emperor, yet I think it will bring up shades of green with a lot of sun. You might like the color, but not the leaf shape. We all have different preferences.

I particularly like black plants to use as accents. For black plantings, I use black Calla lilies, Petunias and Ipomoea (sweet potato) for striking use in containers. The petunias in the photo truly look black from as close as a foot away. If the sun shines from the back, you can see that they are truly dark, dark, dark red.

If you are looking online for a coleus with a black leaf, keep in mind that many of them do not have the word "black" in their names.

Thumbnail by cathy166
taipei, Taiwan

I believe the blackest one of Coleus is Veno(http://www.rosydawngardens.com/vino-443.html) although I haven't tried it yet.
Here is the purple one I already have:

Thumbnail by Yubiker
Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Yubiker, it is funny because it did not photograph dark due to the bright sun, yet I know it is. Most of the plants with black in the name are not this dark.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Here is a closeup of midnight rambler:

Zephyrhills, FL

Thank you, Cathy. I think that that just may be the one I appreciated so much in Oregon. I'll try ordering one.

taipei, Taiwan

Dear Cathy,
As I know, this nursery is available only for wholesale purchase. Is there another nursery open for retail email ordering Coleus now? For I want to reorder Under the sea series (such as Bonefish, Red Coral, etc), while Rosy Dawn has already closed for the season.
I think the linkages about the Coleus suppliers on the webpage really needs to be renewed, some of them are no longer available.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I went to the website to look for distributors because none of my last year's nurseries had the plants I wanted. So I went to one listed, and they had hort courture plants that were not coleuses. I have electric coral that I purchased this year, but I'm not sure where, and I'd send it to your sister if you'd like. I haven't been to a nursery in about three weeks due to oppressive, high temperatures. I'll keep you apprised and D-mail you.

taipei, Taiwan

Thanks for your help, Cathy,I have a lot of unknown coleus, too. Maybe I can send them back to you if you are interested. In the past I did a lot of delivering aquarium plants overseas for my friends in US. I think it can be done on Coleus,too.

Zephyrhills, FL

This message was edited Jul 25, 2013 4:53 AM

Zephyrhills, FL

I am putting Midnight Rambler on my wanted trade list, since there seems to be no vendors operating in late July. I have two rarer type coleus for trading. They haven't formed seed heads yet, which is good. Usually coleus bloom for me this time of year and just stop foliar growth.

I can take their pictures and maybe one of you will know their names.

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