Trees with black leaves bring out the drama and opulence in any garden. Plants with darker foliage contrast perfectly with other colors, highlighting their beauty even more.

Mysterious Trees With Black Leaves Plant America

We’re pretty sure that after reading this list of plants with dark leaves, you’ll be growing some of your own very soon, so let’s get started!

List of Unique Trees With Black Leaves

1. Black Lace Elderberry

Black Lace Elderberries Plant America

Species information
  • Sambucus nigra “Black Lace”
  • Elder, elderberry, black elder, European elder, European elderberry, European black elderberry, tramman (alternate names)
  • Caprifoliaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 3 to 9
  • Moist, well-draining neutral soils
  • Flowers from spring to summer
Common pests
  • Tomato ringspot, fungal canker
  • Powdery mildew, leaf spot, thrips
  • Thread blight, root rot, verticillium wilt
Associated issues
  • Berries are toxic to humans and animals, producing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy
  • Despite not being noxious, this plant can be highly invasive in some areas

Homeowners should try growing plants with dark leaves at least once in their lives, but how do you know which one is for you? Here is one of our favorite plants with ebony leaves.

This Adoxaceae family cultivar has foliage in intense shades of purplish-black. The overall appearance is similar to Japanese maples but slightly smaller. Delicate pink flowers come out during springtime, usually with a strong sweet fragrance. This cold-hardy plant is easy to grow, preferring full sun to partial shade where it can grow to around 6 feet tall.

2. Purple-leaf Plum Tree

Purple Leaf Plum Tree Plant America

Species information
  • Prunus cerasifera
  • Cherry plum (alternate name)
  • Rosaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 4 to 9
  • Loamy, well-draining acidic to neutral soil
  • Flowers from early spring to summer
Common pests
  • Aphids, borers, scale, spider mites
  • Japanese beetles, caterpillars,
  • Leafhoppers, tent caterpillars
Associated issues
  • This tree can be toxic to humans and domesticated animals
  • This tree is considered to be moderately invasive in many areas

The dark purple leaves of this tree are inky enough to be mistaken for black, even during the sunniest days. This tree grows moderately and allows homeowners to enjoy its beautiful rounded growth habit. Flowers can either come in white or pink colors that are similar to cherry blossoms. Fully mature specimens can reach up to 15 to 25 feet tall and wide.

3. Purple-leaf Sand Cherry

Purple Leaf Sand Cherry Plant America 1

Species information
  • Prunus X cistena
  • Purple-leaf sand cherry, plum leaf sand cherry (alternate names)
  • Rosaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 2 to 8
  • Moist, well-draining acidic to neutral soil
  • Flowers from early spring to summer
Common pests
  • Peach tree borer, scale, aphids
  • Japanese beetles, spider mites
  • Leafhoppers, tent caterpillars
Associated issues
  • The leaves and seeds contain small amounts of hydrogen cyanide, which is a toxin common to many in the Rosaceae family
  • This tree is considered highly invasive in most areas

This tree is important to wildlife since the small purple fruits supply some animals’ daily food requirements. Aside from this, the foliage of this tree is quite striking since its dark inky leaves are purplish-black. It can take about 3 to 5 years for this tree to mature to heights of 6 to 10 feet tall. Once it does, the tree starts to produce white and pink blossoms.

4. Crepe Myrtle

Dark Leaves of Crepe Myrtle Plant America

Species information
  • Lagerstroemia indica
  • Crepe flower, bungor, queen flower, Chinese crape myrtle (alternate names)
  • Lythraceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 6 to 9
  • Moist, well-draining neutral soils
  • Flowers from late spring to early fall
Common pests
  • Aphids
  • Japanese beetle
Associated issues
  • There are no known official reports of this plant being toxic
  • This tree can be considered mildly invasive in some areas

Grown in full sun, this tree can reach up to 6 to 25 feet tall. The leaves look perfectly black, although they are actually deep dark purple upon closer inspection, such as the ones found in “Black Diamond.” Flowers come in bold shades of red, including orangey red to vivid scarlet. This tree is very adaptive and will do well in almost any area.

5. Baneberry

Fresh Baneberries in Tree Plant America

Species information
  • Actea simplex “Brunette”
  • Bugbane (alternate name)
  • Actaea family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 3 to 8
  • Moist, well-draining neutral soils
  • Flowers from late spring to early summer
Common pests
  • Rust
  • Leaf spot
Associated issues
  • All parts of this plant are toxic once ingested
  • This plant spreads quickly but is not considered invasive

The serrated leaves of this plant start off as a brilliant emerald green before maturing into dark purple colors that are nearly black. The slender white bottlebrush flowers shoot up from the plant, swaying gently in the breeze and imparting their sweet fragrance in the air. Place this in an area that receives full to partial sun and watch the whole plant grow up to 5 or 6 feet tall.

6. Ninebark

Dark Leaves of Ninebark Flower Plant America

Species information
  • Physocarpus opulifolius
  • Eastern ninebark, Atlantic ninebark, common ninebark, ninebark (alternate names)
  • Rosaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 2 to 8
  • Moist, well-draining neutral soils
  • Flowers from late spring to early summer
Common pests
  • Aphids
  • Powdery mildew
Associated issues
  • There are no known official reports of this plant being toxic
  • There are no known reports of this plant being invasive

The peeling, flaking bark of this plant is enough interest on its own. Paired with black leaves, the ninebark tree becomes even more of a scene stealer. Most cultivars have green leaves, so look for “Diablo,” “Tiny Wine,” and “Center Glow” for some darker leaves. Place them in areas with full to partial sun exposure, and they just might make your garden even more magical.

7. Crimson King Norway Maple

Crimson King Norway Maple Leaves Plant America

Species information
  • Acer platanoides var. “Crimson King”
  • Crimson King Maple (alternate name)
  • Aceraceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 3 to 7
  • Well-draining soils, from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline
  • Flowers from spring to summer
Common pests
  • Tent caterpillars
  • Gypsy moths
  • Cankerworms
Associated issues
  • There are no known official reports of this plant being toxic
  • This tree may have environmental issues as it is considered invasive in many regions

The green colors of the flowers make a wonderful contrast to the dark purple-black colors of the leaves. Place it in an area that receives full sun so that it can quickly grow up to heights of 35 to 45 feet. While it is an attractive tree with dramatic foliage, you’ll need to consult your local environmental agencies since it can be quite invasive. This can impact your local biodiversity.

8. Helmond Pillar Barberry

Helmond Pillar Barberry Plant America

Species information
  • Berberis thunbergii
  • Thunberg’s barberry, Japanese berberis (alternate names)
  • Berberidaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 4 to 8
  • Moist, well-draining neutral to acidic soils
  • Flowers from spring to summer
Common pests
  • Aphids
  • Scale
  • Barberry webworm
Associated issues
  • This thorny plant is moderately toxic to humans and domestic animals
  • Additionally, skin contact can also result in dermatitis
  • This tree is considered highly invasive in many regions

In the summer, expect to see green foliage. As the seasons change, you can expect this tree to display leaves of different colors that range from orange, red, and purple-black. This is a tall shrub but can also be considered a small tree since it can get up to 5 to 6 feet in height. While it grows at a regular pace, it can easily spread throughout many open spaces.

9. Purple Copper Beech Tree

Purple Copper Beech Tree Plant America

Species information
  • Fagus sylvatica var purpurea
  • There are no known alternate names
  • Fagaceae family
Growing conditions
  • USDA zone 4 to 8
  • Moist, well-draining neutral to acidic soils
  • Flowers from spring to summer
Common pests
  • Beech leaf disease, caused by nematodes
  • Aphids
Associated issues
  • There are no known official reports of this plant being toxic
  • There are no known official reports of this plant being invasive

This tree is large and deciduous, which is perfect if you’re looking for a little bit of drama in your garden. When grown in full sun, it can get to about 60 to 80 feet in height with a spread of around 40 to 60 feet. It starts out with purple-black leaves in spring that slowly turn green in the summer. In the fall, the foliage turns into colors of copper and rust before falling off in the winter.

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