A show stopping, super elegant flower. The 5- to 8-foot-tall flower spikes have 3- to 6-inch-wide, saucer-shaped flowers. It was was described as early as 1629 by John Parkinson as being "of a dark red like black blood," an apt description for the large near black flowers that grace this plant in June and July. This biennial or short-lived perennial will form large rosettes of round, hairy leaves by autumn, and will bloom the following summer. Plant in the back of a flower border or against a wall to show off their strong vertical lines. Can bloom the first year in optimal conditions from seed if started early indoors. Plants need good air circulation and full sun. Zones 3-9 Easy to grow.