Tacca chantrieri flower

Tacca chantrieri flower

Tacca chantrieri or Black Bat Flower has a striking black flower with long whiskers.

It’s a tropical plant that requires heat, humidity and shade.

It is not the easiest of plants and will wither if conditions are not good but when they are, it will grow, sprout suckers and bloom from late spring till autumn.

Description:

Tacca chantrieri is rhizomatous. The leaves are stemless, oval and green, up to 25 cm wide and 60 cm long.

The flowers appear on racemes of 2 to 30 flowers. They are surrounded by wide and dark purple, almost black, bracts. The whiskers are small bracts, up to 20 cm long.

The fruit is a berry containing numerous small seeds.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Bat flower, bat head lily, bat plant, black bat flower, black Tacca, cats whiskers, devil flower

Synonyms:

Clerodendrum esquirolii, Schizocapsa breviscapa, Schizocapsa itagakii, Tacca esquirolii, Tacca garrettii, Tacca lancifolia var. breviscapa, Tacca macrantha, Tacca minor, Tacca paxiana, Tacca roxburghii, Tacca vespertilio, Tacca wilsonii

Etymology:

Tacca: from the Malaysian name for the plant, taka
Chantrieri: in honor of Chantrier Frères, nurserymen of Mortefontaine, France

Tacca chantrieri

Tacca chantrieri

Origin:

Yunnan (China)

Habitat:

Understory of rainforest

Hardiness:

USDA zone 11

Care:

Substrate:

Well drained, loose soil: potting soil with perlite

Light:

Shade

Water:

Keep moist, not wet

Hygrometry:

They like high aerial humidity

Fertilizer:

Universal liquid fertilizer, every 2 weeks during growing season

Temperature:

Room temperature 18-30 °C is optimal, growth will stop under 15 °C

Repotting:

Each year in spring, provide a rather big pot as the rhizome needs space

Propagation:

Division of rhizomes in spring, when repotting

Image sources

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