Blacknight comes to us from Germany, part of the new Spotlight series that is causing so much excitement in Europe. One of the things that has gardeners so excited is that this is a true perennial Hollyhock, not a biennial. Another is that it has seemingly boundless flower power, beginning with the first breath of summer heat and continuing until the chill of fall. And most of all, the color play is just spectacular -- deepest violet to charcoal, with a glossy sheen and a small eye of yellow encircled by rich red. A Spotlight, indeed!
Blacknight reaches 5 to 6 feet tall, with a nice low mound of foliage below thick, sturdy stalks set about with blooms. It will spread up to 2 feet wide, creating a living wall of unforgettable color. And when butterflies and hummingbirds visit, the color show is joined by motion!
Like all Hollyhocks, Blacknight is a greedy feeder, thriving best in enriched, well-drained garden soil. This used to be a barnyard plant, growing in manure against the side of a barn -- so don't spare the compost! You will be richly repaid all summer. Have fun finding nice places to show this perennial off; its smoky colors complement every other hue in the garden, and of course look dazzling in the vase, too. Zones 3-9.