A mail-order supplier has taken the wraps of a new near-black lily. ‘Queen of the Night’ is said to be “unique,” boasting almost black petals that contrast with red stamens.

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The lily is exclusive to Spalding–based Bakker.com. It released limited stock last season, but said 2017 will be the first year in which ‘Queen of the Night’ is widely available.

Managing director Adrian Nind said: “It’s striking in the garden where it will contrast well with other colourful border plants, or looks great on its own in a pot.

“This exceptional lily makes a great cut flower – pick early in the morning and remove pollen to avoid staining clothing. Keep cut lilies away from direct sunlight and they last longer.”

‘Queen of the Night’ flowers in early-summer, lasting from June to August. Flowers have a “deliciously sweet fragrance”.

Bulbs can be planted 4-6in (10-15cm) deep in autumn or spring and prefer light, well-drained soil.

They thrive in a sheltered corner between other plants in direct sunlight, and need watering frequently.

A pack of five ‘Queen of the Night’ lily bulbs costs £6.85. Go to www.bakker.com for details.