Black Orchid - Fredclarkeara Black Lace ‘Baker’s Dark Angel’ 

In nature, black flowers are rare. The reality is that there is almost no plant in the world that is truly black in color. Most are shades of deep blue or reds or purples. This is also true about orchid flowers. Growers and hybridizers have tried many different orchid plants and hybrid orchid varieties to try to get to a truly black flower.

Among the most notable hybrids (since 2010) with truly black flowers (currently commercially available from Sunset Valley Orchids) you can find Fredclarkeara (Asparagales - Orchidaceae), an intergeneric hybrid between the orchid genera Catasetum, Clowesia and Mormodes. (Ctsm. x Cl. x Morm.).

The Fredclarkeara breeding produces flowers that are fragrant, have lots of color and are long lasting. As you can see on this one in the photo, the Fredclarkeara Black Lace 'Baker’s Dark Angel’ is indeed black.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Brent Baker | Locality: cultivated (2013)

Lobb’s Bulbophyllum - Bulbophyllum lobbii

Named after Thomas Lobb, who introduced it to England from Java, Bulbophyllum lobbii (Asparagales - Orchidaceae) is an epiphytic orchid, native to  Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. 

Many Bulbophyllum species have rather small, short-lived flowers. An exception is Bulbophyllum lobbii, which has relatively large flowers that measure 8-10 cm across and last up to a month in good condition. The yellow flowers, borne singly, have a hinged labellum that nods up and down in the slightest breeze, a feature designed to catch the attention of passing pollinators.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©David Lim | Locality: Kipandi Butterfly Park, Penampang, Sabah, Malaysia (2011)