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.
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.
Bat flower, bat head lily, bat plant, black bat flower, black Tacca, cats whiskers, devil flower
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
Tacca: from the Malaysian name for the plant, taka
Chantrieri: in honor of Chantrier Frères, nurserymen of Mortefontaine, France
Understory of rainforest
USDA zone 11
Well drained, loose soil: potting soil with perlite
Keep moist, not wet
They like high aerial humidity
Universal liquid fertilizer, every 2 weeks during growing season
Room temperature 18-30 °C is optimal, growth will stop under 15 °C
Each year in spring, provide a rather big pot as the rhizome needs space
Division of rhizomes in spring, when repotting