Here we have an unusual and very attractive form of the plant commonly known as Sweet William and an old cottage garden favourite. It forms a compact bushy plant with distinctive, virtually black evergreen foliage and, above that in late spring into summer, clusters of dark maroon flowers that are so dark that they, too, are virtually black. And they're fragrant, for your added pleasure. Sun or semi-shade. Well drained soil. 12 in. 1 litre pot.
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Lovely, though it wouldn't stand out on a dark night, we suppose.
Often grown as biennials, these are in fact perennial plants, if relatively short-lived. Worth it, though, however many seasons they last.
Dianthus is a pretty big and varied family, including various types of the plants commonly known as carnations and pinks plus, of course, Sweet William. Favourites on the show bench and a staple of the old fashioned border.
Dianthus Monksilver Black is a selection made by Dr John Grimshaw, author of The Gardener's Atlas, from seedlings at Monksilver Nursery in Cambridgeshire, which is owned by Joe Sharman, well known for his specialism in Galanthus (snowdrops).
Dianthus Barbatus Monksilver Black is a hardy evergreen perennial with virtually black leaves and maroon black flowers in summer suitable for sun or semi-shade.