Some perennials just pull out all the stops –
Rich and delicious, they know how to steal the show.

Okay, so you’ve seen dark-leaf red blooming cardinal flower plants before. So what makes new Lobelia cardinalis ‘Black Truffle’ worthy of your interest? It’s superior to the rest the rest of the crowd. For starters, have you seen any red lobelia that emerges from the ground early in the season sporting really black leaves with a red rib? I didn’t think so. They’re dark, but fall short in comparison.

Black Colocasia and Black Truffle Lobelia

Black Colocasia and Black Truffle Lobelia

And exactly how black is black?

Does a match to Black Magic Colocasia make your socks roll up and down? Hope so. Plants don’t get any blacker than that.

The interesting thing about really dark leaved plants is that they morph from one color to another. Some of them emerge green – like Black Magic – and darken up as the leaves mature. Others emerge dark and lighten as the leaves grow larger. Still others retain good color until summer heats up and the sun bakes everything it touches. Which is what happens with other burgundy leaved Lobelias. They fade beneath the brutal summer sun. They also don’t come out of the ground this dark, and that makes a difference in the coloring of the foliage as the season lengthens. Black Truffle Lobelia retains excellent color even in the south.

Black Truffle is also the only true native dark leaved lobelia ever, which has a great deal to do with its exciting foliage color retention. And that bluish opalescent overlay on the leaves early in the season? As the leaves age and the plant grow tall, they remain as an iridescent frosting on dark maroon foliage.

Now that’s a drama queen as opposed to a drama princess. If you’re going to rule the border, you can’t get all washed out in the face of the sun come July and August. Certainly not when this is the time of year you’re tossing out flowers. When you’re expecting a starring role from a dark plant among that sea of green in your garden and it morphs from all burgundy or black to a wishy-washy shade of strange green from stem to stern, its like the leading lady forgot her lines at a pinnacle moment in the script.

Gorgeous Lobelia Black Truffle in Bloom

Gorgeous Lobelia Black Truffle in Bloom

In addition to her stellar color-retention qualities, Lobelia Black Truffle exhibits great flower power in a startling foil of red against dark burgundy. This deer-resistant plant’s forte is making a lengthy and stellar show that you will be able to enjoy from afar and up close. Maturing to 3-4′ tall and 2-3′ wide, every stem in the clump will be topped by a lipstick red bloom head at some point from mid-summer until fall. Perennial Lobelias with the expectable green leaves are very showy plants in bloom no matter what color the flowers are. Add these rich, dark leaves and you’ve got something truly magical you’ll be waiting to see unfurl every summer.

Like all Lobelias, Black Truffle is super cold hardy, and deals well with the climate in zones 3-8. Once well established, lobelia will deal with short dry periods, but is best with consistent moisture. The sandier your soil is the more demanding of watering it will be to look sensational. Yes, this is the voice of experience speaking. If you want reduced watering requirements with lobelias, you need good moisture retention in the soil or a drip irrigating reservoir to tide it over while you’re busy elsewhere. Can you grow lobelia in really sandy soil? Yep. But you better be there without fail with that hose by late afternoon every day it doesn’t rain a lot!

Guaranteed to make a statement planted in full sun or part shade – you’re going to love this new red flowering plant as much as the hummingbirds and butterflies do. Introduced in 2013 by Plants Nouveau, you should start seeing the marvelous new Black Truffle Lobelia plant popping up at better garden centers and mail order houses far and wide for the 2014 planting season.

How native is native where Black Truffle is concerned? A featured plant in this spring’s American Beauties lineup.

Trademark & Nomenclature

Lobelia cardinalis ‘Black Truffle’ PPAF