Black Irises either tend to the "purple/violet" side or to the "red" side. I tell my customers at the fair that the newest "Blacks" are getting harder to tell which cast they have because they are soooo black!
supposedly I have 12 black irises. I say supposedly since two listed I got from the local iris society retiree whoes record keeping has been suspect. *
Star in The Night
Anvil of Darkness
Before The Storm
Black is Black *
Black Suited (of the 3 Black's Sterling Innerst introduced; this by far and away is the best one; both from a color standpoint and a hardiness standpoint)
Black Tie Affaire
Raven Girl *
Name: Bonnie Sojourner Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a) Magnolia zone
I have bought more black, pink and blue irises only to find that the black ones were lovely but purple, the pink ones were beautiful but cream or peach and the blue ones were almost all shades of lavender. I see others growing the colors I covet so I think my problem was buying from a photo on a vendors site. Some are quite deceptive. AND never buy because an iris is named a color....... yeah, right!
Thro' all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; It finds an echo in my soul— How can I keep from singing?
The late Sterling Innerst would most likely be my pick for black iris introductions. And I do not intend to belittle anyone
else in the business, but I can only speak for what survives, grows, blooms and looks attractive in the garden. And his irises
are some of the finest I've grown.
The top ones are my pick as the best in 'black' irises. I can't leave out Schreiners' Hello Darkness as a good, good iris: It
is my #3 choice, and I would always keep it around. It's a keeper for Sure! And Before The Storm still resides here too.
These are my personal choices; and Im sure different gardeners will have a much different take on 'black' irises.
"Devil May Care" in my garden has very black petals -- even in strong SoCal daylight -- but the interior is glowing purple with orange beards emanating from that. "Sinister Desire" looks a bit purple in the photo, but to the eye the falls look very black, with just a touch of dark cherry near the edges and a bit more in the standards. "Black Lightning" so far has only given me one funny little water-spotted bloom.
It is very dark, but you see the purple in it in the sun. I think it is a very pretty iris in color and in its ruffly form. And it increases well and produces lots of blooms. Which gives it lots of stars in my book.
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black