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What Colour is dark purple called?

What Colour is dark purple called?

Dark purple is a deep, rich shade of the color purple. It sits between the hues of vivid violet and aubergine on the color wheel. Dark purple goes by several different names depending on the specific hue, tint, tone or application. Let’s explore some of the common terms used to describe dark shades of purple.

Basic Dark Purple Names

Some of the most common names for dark purples include:

– Deep Purple
– Dark Violet
– Royal Purple
– Eggplant
– Wisteria
– Plum

These terms can be used quite broadly to describe dark purples of many shades and intensities. Deep purple and dark violet are probably the most widely recognized basic terms.

Deep purple sits on the cooler end of the dark purple spectrum. It has a rich, vivid bluish undertone. Dark violet is similar but slightly redder and warmer in tone.

Royal purple and eggplant are also widely used terms. Royal purple is a very deep, rich purple associated with royalty, luxury and ambition. Eggplant is a medium-dark purple with greyish undertones, inspired by the color of the vegetable eggplant.

Wisteria and plum are related to softer, slightly redder dark purples. Wisteria is a soft purple-blue named after the hanging purple flowers of the wisteria vine. Plum is a red-toned purple associated with the skin of ripening plums.

Specific Dark Purple Color Names

In design, fashion, decor and art, more specific dark purple shades are often identified by unique color names. Here are some examples:

– Amethyst – A jewel toned, moderately dark purple with hints of red. Named after the precious stone.

– Byzantium – A reddish-purple tone associated with the art and culture of the Byzantine Empire.

– Tyrian Purple – A very deep, vivid purple-red associated with royal robes in antiquity. Made from mollusk dye.

– Mulberry – A soft, red-toned purple the color of ripe mulberries.

– Prune – A greyish purple reminiscent of prunes.

– Wine – Deep purple shades associated with red wine.

– Iris – Purplish tones inspired by the hues of purple irises.

– Orchid – Soft purple-pinks associated with orchid blooms.

– Pansy – Lighter purples with a blue undertone, named after pansy flowers.

– Lilac – Soft, pale purples with hints of pink inspired by lilac blossoms.

Purple Dye Names

Some traditional dye names are also used to describe shades of dark purple:

– Tyrian Purple – A roman dye made from mollusks, produced a rich, red purple.

– Imperial Purple – Another reddish purple dye associated with ancient roman robes.

– Royal Purple – Historically used to dye the robes of royalty.

– Bishop’s Purple – A medieval purple dye worn by clergy.

– Rose Madder – Purplish red dye from the roots of the madder plant.

– Operan Purple – Deep purple-brown dye used for opera costumes.

– Cabbage Purple – Greyish purple dye made from cabbage.

Purple Gemstone Names

Deep purple gemstones also lend their names to rich purple colors:

– Amethyst – Medium to deep reddish purple, like the quartz.

– Sapphire – Vivid violet blues inspired by precious sapphires.

– Garnet – Purplish reds similar to the shades of garnet gems.

– Iolite – Blue toned dark purple hues named after the gemstone iolite.

– Tanzanite – Cool-toned blue violets like the rare gem tanzanite.

– Lavender Jade – Softer purple inspired by the color of lavender jade.

– Ametrine – A mix of purple and yellow, like the ametrine quartz which mixes amethyst and citrine.

Creatures Associated with Purple

Some animal names are also used to describe dark purple colors:

– Violet – Various violet-blue hues inspired by violets and other purple flowers.

– Purple Emperor – Deep imperial purples associated with the purple emperor butterfly.

– Mauve – Dusty purplish colors like the gray underside of the mauve sulphur butterfly wing.

– Grape – Rich purple tones reminiscent of ripe concord grapes.

– Eggplant – Medium to dark purple with grey/green undertones, like the skin of eggplants.

– Plum – Soft reddish purples, inspired by ripe plum skins.

Food and Plant Names

Dark purple plant foods also give us color names:

– Aubergine – Purplish browns like the skin of aubergines (eggplants).

– Mulberry – Soft reds inspired by ripe mulberries.

– Plum – Reddish purple hues of plum skins.

– Blackcurrant – Deep purples tinged with red, like blackcurrants.

– Prune – Dull greying purples, reminiscent of prunes.

– Fig – Deep reddish browns related to ripe figs.

– Grape – Rich, vivid purple tones like concord grapes.

– Boysenberry – Deep reddish purples, like boysenberry juice.

– Elderberry – Intense purples associated with ripe elderberries.

Purple Flowers

Blooms from purple flowering plants also lend their names to shades of purple:

– Lilac – Soft powdery pale lavenders, like lilac blossoms.

– Wisteria – Cool purplish blues, like wisteria blooms.

– Lavender – Soft dusty purples related to lavender flowers.

– Violet – Purple with blue undertones, inspired by violets.

– Iris – Diverse purplish hues of the iris flower.

– Orchid – Soft purple pinks reminiscent of orchid blooms.

– Pansy – Lighter purples with blue notes, like the pansy flower.

– Petunia – Medium purples associated with petunias.

– Hyacinth – Range of reddish purples related to hyacinths.

Purple Pigments and Dyes

Vivid dark purple pigments and dyes also have their own unique names:

Pigment/Dye Name Description
Tyrian Purple Rich, deep reddish purple from mollusk dye.
Royal Purple Vivid deep purple associated with royalty.
Imperial Purple Roman purple dye, close to Tyrian purple.
Operan Purple Deep purplish brown used in costumes.
Cabbage Purple Grey toned purple made from cabbage.
Mauve Greyed purplish tones, like mauveine dye.
Amethyst Medium to deep reddish purple.
Byzantium Reddish purple associated with Byzantium.
Mulberry Deep soft red purple.


As we’ve seen, there are many diverse names used to describe dark shades of purple across the color spectrum. While basic terms like deep purple, dark violet, eggplant and plum cover much of the scope, richer variations of purple are often given more descriptive color names referring to visual associations with flowers, gemstones, textile dyes, fruits, animals and other purple objects. With its regal history, creative allure and variety of different hues, the purple family offers an abundance of evocative and imaginative color names to convey just the right shade and personality.