It’s that spooky time of the year again! Why go out and buy cauldrons, candles and pumpkins, when nature provides such bizarre and beautiful creations? To celebrate Halloween, we’ve conjured up our 13 creepiest, darkest varieties guaranteed to give your gardens a haunted makeover, along with individual facts and superstitions.
13 Frightening Plants
The snakes head Fritillaria is a popular variety due to their unusual drooping pendants, flowering in the spring. This spellbinding plant displays a mixture of white and purple bell shaped flowers.
Fact: The nodding, pink-and-purple-checkered flowers of the Snake’s-head Fritillary are said to resemble a snake, hence the name!
Iris pumila ‘Hokus Pokus’ is a truly magical variety producing velvety petals of deep lilac and rust atop robust, fleshy stems. These exquisitely mystical blooms are guaranteed to add a touch of intrigue to your borders.
Fact: Iris take their name from the Greek word for a rainbow, which is also the name for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris.
Superstition: Iris symbolize eloquence. Purple iris are symbolic of wisdom and compliments. Blue iris symbolize faith and hope. Yellow iris symbolize passion while white iris symbolize purity.
Tulip Black Parrot is a mysterious and elegant variety, with large flared heads draped in rich, velvety maroon-black petals. Once the flower matures and opens, their serrated appearance of the petals edges become symbolic of a parrot’s plumage.
Fact: These tulips were developed from mutations of certain varieties of late-flowering and Triumph tulips!
Superstition: Wear Tulips for prosperity and protection.
Tricyrtis ‘Dark Beauty’ adds an exotic edge to any borders with their strikingly unique bruised purple/blue spotted petals with a dusky white accent, and their tentacle-like tepals bursting from the center with their yellow and white stamens and purple anthers.
Fact: Known in England as Toad Lilies, this wonderful perennial is native to eastern Asia and the Himalayas. A wonderfully weird introduction to the garden.
This dark and mysterious day lily is a popular perennial flowering garden plant, producing a velvety purple edge surrounding a dark black core and green throat.
Fact: The genus name is derived from Greek, meaning beauty and day, referring to the fact that each pretty bloom lasts only one day.
Superstition: Wearing lilies and poppies was thought to lighten people’s distress, causing the wearer to forget all their troubles.
Add a dramatic cloak of darkness to your gardens with Tulip ‘Queen of Night’, with deep velvety maroon flowers that give the appearance of a silky black sheen. ‘Queen of Night’ is classified as a single late tulip, meaning it has a single, rather than double row of petals and blooms in late spring.
Fact: The Queen of the Night is the closest that hybridists have come to creating a pure black tulip.
Superstition: Carrying Tulips in your pocket brings good luck.
Fronds are a soft grayish-green with an overlay of silvery hues accented by contrasting dark maroon midribs. Silvering is best for several weeks in the spring, with fronds becoming greener as hot temperatures arrive. The attractive foliage and shape of this fern provide colour, contrast and texture.
Fact: Genus name comes from Greek athyros meaning doorless in reference to the slowly opening hinged indusia (spore covers)
Also known as ‘Caucasian stonecrop’ or ‘Dragons blood’ this creeping perennial bursts to life with blood red flowers from June through to August. The large simple shaped leaves create a glossy evergreen that are thick, flattened, rounded, succulent and toothed or lobed near the tips.
Fact: In autumn, ‘Dragon’s Blood’ earns its name as the leaves turn from greenish-red to dramatic deep red!
Dark cherry red edged scarlet. Tulip Kingsblood is a striking tall, strong tulip that will bring a hit of colour to the late spring garden. Mix with dark maroons and oranges for an eye-catching combination or planted on it’s own for a bold statement.
Fact: The meaning of tulips is generally perfect love . Like many flowers, different colors of tulips also often carry their own significance. Red tulips are most strongly associated with true love.
Superstition: In Persia, Tulips are used as a ward against evil.
The Bleeding Heart is both bold and dramatic which makes a fabulous border plant producing fern-like foliage and arching sprays of heart-shaped deep Pink and White flowers.
Fact: The Royal Horticultural Society has given this plant the Award of Garden Merit for its reliable performance, stability of colour and form and good resistance to pests and diseases.
Add some dark glamour to your summer border with Rose Black Baccara, a striking fragrant variety of Hybrid Tea rose with petals of deepest maroon which fade to luxurious red as the plant matures. The Black Rose Bush produces large, velvety blooms and glossy foliage from its tall, statuesque stems, making it favourite cut flower of florists.
Fact: According to the Language of Flowers or floriography in the 19th Century, a black rose implies hatred, death, and despair. It can also signify rebirth or farewell for good, in certain situations.
Superstition: Rose petals falling unexpectedly without any cause is a negative omen, potentially portending death.
A bushy evergreen shrub with palmately lobed leaves, dappled with white, making it look as though it is covered in a ‘spiders web’. In autumn it produces clusters of white flowers that give way to black berries. Fruits persist on the prominent stalks for several weeks.
Fact: These evergreens are happiest in light shade, although it will still thrive where it is verging on the gloomy.
Tulip ‘Havran’ is a truly beautiful, silk-satin almost black tulip with two to three flowers to a stem, providing that elusive darkness of colour for your patios, pots and borders. Pictured along side ‘Grand Perfection’, which flames blood red on a soft yellow background. As they mature, the yellow fades and turns creamy white.
Fact: In magical traditions, tulips appear in spells and rituals aimed at love, joy, safety, success and meaningful dreams. You can carry tulips as a charm that attracts prosperity.
Superstition: There is a superstition in Holland that Pixies live in tulip beds.