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GRAPTOPHYLLUM pictum 'Black Beauty'

Image of Graptophyllum pictum 'Black Beauty'

Family

Acanthaceae

Botanical Name

GRAPTOPHYLLUM pictum 'Black Beauty'

Plant Common Name

Black Beauty Caricature Plant, Black Beauty Jamaican Croton, Caricature Plant

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A lush, dark-foliaged tropical shrub, Black Beauty caricature plant leaves are blackened dark green with reddish undersides. A tender tropical evergreen shrub, it is believed having its origin in New Guinea, but is naturalized throughout Southeast Asia and parts of Oceania.

The satin-glossed leaves are thin and charcoal dark green, or simply a drab black. Undersides of leaves can show off a salmon-red color, especially in sunlight. In late spring to summer each branch tip bears a flowerspike with small red-purple flowers.

Grow 'Black Beauty' in partial sun in a fertile, moist, well-draining soil for best growth. Although showing some drought tolerance, it will quickly show stress with wilted leaves if not established or in too sandy of soil. Often branch tips are pinched off to promote overall bushiness. It is an alluring shrub for the tropical mixed border, building foundation, a hedgerow or even as a container patio specimen juxtaposing bright flowers or foliage plants. In cold climates it can be grown in a sunroom or conservatory or also brought out in the summer to enjoy on the patio.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H2, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    5'-8' / 1.5m - 2.4m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia, Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Crimson, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green, Sienna, Black

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green, Sienna, Black

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Sienna, Black

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Sienna, Black

  • Bark Color

    Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No