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Black flowers

Richard richardh at its-science.cc.monash.edu.au
Mon May 1 03:16:53 EST 1995

ez043438 at bullwinkle.ucdavis.edu (Jeffrey Kirby) wrote:
>In reality there really is no such thing as a black flower, short of a 
>painted one. Not to my knowledge. There are flowers that are very 
>though, including at least one orchid hybrid (it's a Catasetum that I 
>don't remember the cross - made by someone at G.E.M. Orchids, I think - 
>it was a pink crossed with a red, and I think Ctsm. Rebecca Northen was 
>the pink) which has so much red pigment that it appeared black. It even 
>got a special award from the American Orchid Society Judges there for 
>blackest orchid they had ever seen. You can find an article in the AOS 
>Bulletin from a few years back with a picture - I'll try to find the 
>reference later and post it. One other "black" flower I have seen was 
>about 5 years ago in the stock fields of a violet breeder. Real dark 
>purples will get into the "black" range - and they truly appear black. 
>About black tulips, that I don't know. And other than that one black 
>orchid, that's mostly a myth about finding black orchids, although I 
>there is a mystery series in which the hero collects black orchids 
>(again, fiction). 
>Hope it helps - I'll post the reference later.
>        Jeffrey A. Kirby -- Jester of Xanadu -- jakirby at ucdavis.edu
>Life is like a nebulous signature file.

A flower native to the Kimberley region of Western Australia has what 
seems to be a truly (but not wholly) Black flower.  It is a pea flower 
and has a 'tongue' of white or yellow, depending on the strain.  It is a 
vigourous and hardy climber that grows well in temperate regions.
The name is Kennedia nigricans and is available widely in nurseries in 
Australia.  I have one growing in my fence currently where it covers 
quite an area.
Richard Harrison
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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