13 Black Vegetables for a Gothic Garden

By Catherine Winter

Believe it or not, many gothy types enjoy gardening just as much as you do. Just look at Kat von D’s all-black flower garden for proof! Besides, there’s a lot to be said for flouncing around one’s space in acres of lace, floppy hats, and spf 900 sunscreen.

Even better, there are some fabulous black (as well as dark purple and very dark green) vegetables that would look gorgeous in a gothic garden. Load up some Sisters of Mercy, make a cup of tea, and discover the gorgeous varieties we’ve rounded up for you.

1. Black Nebula Carrots

black nebula carrots, black carrots, gothic carrots
Black Nebula carrots from Baker Creek

Aren’t these just the most gorgeous root veggies ever? These celestial carrots are perfect for scooping up violently magenta beetroot hummus. They also keep their purple hue when juiced: try them mixed with apple, beet, and a tiny bit of ginger.

2. Black Beauty Tomatoes

black tomatoes, black beauty tomatoes
Black Beauty tomatoes from Baker Creek

Some black vegetables are grown just because they look cool, and that’s fine. These tomatoes, however, are just delicious. Sure, they’re packed with antioxidants and such, but their flavour is indescribably wonderful. Must-haves for any garden, seriously.

3. Maiz Morado Black Corn

Maiz Morado black corn
Maiz Morado black corn from Baker Creek

Apparently this is the darkest corn you can grow, and is startlingly delicious. It’s from the Andes highlands in Peru, and a drink made from it was used ceremonially by the Incans. It grows tall (8 feet +), so you’ll need a lot of garden space to cultivate it.

4. Purple Lady Bok Choy

black bok choy, purple bok choy, purple lady bok choy
Purple Lady bok choy from Baker Creek

If you’re a fan of bok choy, you have to try this stuff. It’s sweeter than most other varieties, and its antioxidant priorities makes it as healthy as it is delicious. Try it in a gothy Thai dish with traditional purple basil and roasted eggplant!

5. Black Magic Kale

black kale, black dinosaur kale, dinosaur kale, lacinato kale
Black Magic kale from Veseys

This lacinato (dinosaur) kale variety is from Tuscany, and boasts incredibly dark leaves. They’re actually a deep blue-green, but appear black in indirect light. How gorgeous would these be in a salad with other black vegetables and berries tossed in?

6. Purple Teepee Beans

purple beans, black bush beans
Purple Teepee Beans from Baker Creek

These beans are so dark purple they’re almost black, so they fit right into this list. They’re bush beans, rather than pole types, so they’ll need a bit of space to spread out. Pick them at around 60 days when they’re about 4″ long, while they’re still tender.

7. Tiny Coban Tomatillo

black tomatillos, black physalis
Mini black tomatillos from Baker Creek

Most Physalis varieties are orange, yellow, or red, but this teensy tomatillo is a rich purple-black in colour. These plants can grow over 6 feet tall and require a lot of sunlight, but will reward you with high yields.

8. Black Hungarian Peppers

black peppers, black Hungarian peppers
Hungarian black peppers from Baker Creek

With moderate heat and a delicious flavour, these black peppers would be incredible in chili or black bean salsa. They mature in about 75 days, and produce purple flowers that would be right at home in amongst your other nightshades.

9. Dakota Black Popcorn

black popcorn, Dakota black popcorn
Dakota black popcorn from Baker Creek

If you don’t have a lot of space but still want to try your hand at growing corn, try this popcorn variety. It grows well in containers, and creates stunning deep black kernels.
How amazing would these be at your next Halloween party?

10. Black “Noir Gros Rond D’hiver” Radishes

black radishes
Black winter radishes from Baker Creek

These beauties date back to the 16th century, and have hot, spicy white flesh inside their black skins. The tennis ball-sized roots mature in a little over a month, and are ideal for cold storage over the autumn and winter.

11. Black Salsify

black salsify, scorzonera
Black salsify from Trade Winds Fruit

Also known as “black scorzonera”, this root vegetable has a rich, creamy flavour, and pale flesh hidden beneath its dark outer skin. Salsify and scorzonera were treasured from pre-Medieval Europe through to the Victorian era, and are making a comeback.

12. Syrian Stuffing Eggplant

black eggplant, Syrian eggplant
Syrian black eggplant from Baker Creek

These beauties have a gorgeous, rich flavour, and super-dark purple-black skin. They were cultivated from seeds saved before the Syrian conflict, so they’re incredibly special, and as their name suggests, they’re great stuffed. Harvest when they’re about 4″ long.

13. Thai Kang Kob Pumpkin

black pumpkin, Thai black pumpkin, Thai kang kob
Thai Kang Kob pumpkin from Baker Creek

Have you ever seen such a glorious pumpkin? They start off a deep teal black, that turns to a rich chestnut brown/black in dry cold storage. Sweet orange interior flesh is spectacular roasted, in soups, and curries. (Also, how fabulous would these pumpkins look as part of a 3 Sisters garden with the black corn and purple beans?)

Although these would all work together gorgeously in a few dedicated dark beds, they also look incredible when interspersed with complementary hues.

For example, you can add in some white currant tomatoes in amongst the black and purple varieties to add some ghostly contrast. Dragon’s Egg cucumbers are also very pale, and provide contrast, as well as a great story when showing visitors around. Just imagine the plant markers you could create for them!

gothic vegetables
Photo credit: Refinery 29

While designing your dream (or nightmare) garden, don’t forget to leave room for accent pieces. Statues, fountains, bird baths, and fire pits full of ceramic skulls are all great ideas to consider. It just depends on which gothy aesthetic you’re aiming for.

If you’re looking for more theme ideas, or just want to explore some fun new plant cultivars, check out the following articles:

25 Vegetables for a Medieval Potager Garden

Interesting Varieties to Explore in 2019

Book Gifts for Plant Lovers

Lead image via Shutterstock

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