This unique species
has a flair for the dramatic. Its large heads of deep purple black
foliage truly stand out against other greenery. The bright yellow
flowers set against the almost black foliage are very showy.
It is a branching succulent shrub that
produces magnificent, almost black-purple, leaf rosettes at the ends of
Stem: Forms grey-green beached trunk, spread 25 to 60(-100) cm.
Rosettes: Rosettes are formed at the ends of the stems.
Flowers: Light yellow flowers that form long clusters.
Blooming season: Summer.
The cultivar 'Zwartkop' is a very dark selection of Aeonium
arboretum with tall arching stems and large heads of deep purple
black foliage. It differs from the common Aeonium arboreum 'Atropurpureum'
which has somewhat shorter stems and smaller heads of very dark reddish
purple foliage. Sometimes it produces nice crested stems and seems to to
change in and out of its crested mode during the years.
Cultivation: It requires gritty well drained potting mix. Water
deeply but infrequently. Plants are allowed to thoroughly dry in-between
waterings. During the winter months restrict water to about once a
month, or just enough to keep the foliage from shrivelling. Position in
full to part sun in a sheltered spot, but the bright light enhances the
rich hues of the darker Aeoniums, and the subtle blushes of the other
colors, but prefers light shade to shade in summer. The plants tend to
go dormant in the summer and look a little tired sometimes, but they
perk up again in the fall. Summer is the natural dormant season for this
species in its native land. Needs protection from severe winter frosts
(Hardy to -2°C or a little less for short periods), over winter under
glass in all but the mildest of gardens.
Propagation: Aeonium arboreum var atropurpureum 'Schwarzkopf' is
easily propagated by cuttings in the spring. When the stem becomes too
tall, just cut the top rosette with a piece of stem and plant it. It
will soon take root, while the plant left with just the stem will soon
grow new buds that can be in turn used for propagation. Time to take
cuttings: April to July
Use: Aeoniums make excellent summer bedding plants, since their
architectural shape contrasts well with most other bedding plants. They
can also be used effectively planted in containers.
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Aeonium arboreum var
Garden origin (Nursery
produced cultivar) For a long time this choicest
cultivar has been considered a
the Aeonium arboretum
which originated in
Holland. It now seems that it comes from the Canary
Islands, thus it then
cannot be a cultivar of A. arboreum, since A. arboreum
doesn't come from there. The latest theory is that it is a
cultivar from A. manriqueorum.
Common Names include: Aeonium 'Blacktop',
Black rose, Black Beauty,
Black Tree Aeonium
- Aeonium manriqueorum cv. 'Zwartkop' (Schwarzkopf )
The 20 cm rosette of almost black leaves on a light grey trunk is very
showy. Looks wonderful next to any blue turquoise succulent.
Photo of conspecific taxa, varieties, forms and
cultivars of Aeonium arboreum.