The Bat flower plant – Tacca Chantrieri has a wild, unusual looking flower. As exotic as it may look, the Bat Plant is not a difficult plant to grow. In fact, it is very hardy. I have found Tacca available in some garden centers. It is available online.
TACCA (tak’-ah) – A genus of tropical, tuberous-rooted perennial herbs having large leaves at the base of stems which are surmounted by brown or greenish flowers in dense, round-topped clusters.
The name “bat flower” comes from the plant’s bractea shape which looks similar to bats.
Also known as the Devil’s Flower, the plant has the most interesting flower seen and the most beautiful foliage as well.
In addition to the green and shiny leaves, the Bat Flower plant produces dark purple or maroon flowers with “eyes” on the bloom that seem to follow one’s moves.
There are whiskers on the bloom look like the flower has a Fu Man Chu that form flowing or fine forked tails. More of these strange flowers are produced with the conditions are right for the plant.
However, the Bat Flower plants are easier to grow outdoors than indoors.
Requirements Of The Tacca Chantrieri
- Light: Tacca needs a northern, eastern or western exposure of shade or partial sun.
- Temperature: Maintain temperatures indoors above 60° degrees Fahrenheit
- Humidity: The bat plant is an understory plant growing in high humidity areas. Keep plants above 50% of higher humidity. Plants will tolerate lower humidity levels.
- Watering: Allow soil to dry out between waterings. Water thoroughly until the soil is completely saturated and soil runs out the bottom of the pot. Try submerging the whole pot and plant into a bucket of water until all air bubbles stop. Drain off excess water. Overwatering and wet soil will cause root rot.
- Fertilizer: Feed the bat flower with a balanced liquid fertilizer at 1/3 strenghth every two weeks during the growing season.
- Pruning: Remove old leaves as they die off.
- Insects and Disease: Tacca flowers experience few insect problems. Proper watering, will prevent root rot from developing.
Caring For The Bat Flower
In the North, Tacca plants can grow in the greenhouse or a “bat house” and also as an indoor houseplant.
Plant Tacca Chantrieri in a rich well-drained soil or potting mixture in a pot with good drainage.
The black bat flower blooms throughout late spring and summer.
During winter hold off on watering and allow the plant to rest over winter. It is also important to give them warm shade with high humidity.
When growing the black bat plant outdoors place them near trees or walls to protect them from direct sunlight.
These tropical plants are increased by division.
Other Species Of Bat Plants
Tacca pinnatifida, with finely cut leaves sometimes 4 foot long, is grown in the tropics as a source of arrowroot, which is obtained from the ground tubers or rhizomes. It has greenish and purplish flowers.
Tacca integrifolia also known as the white bat plant is another exquisite species from the yam family.
They are native to tropical forests and subtropical rainforests of Central Asia.
Almost all plants have been labeled as beautiful, lovely, captivating, and the likes. But have you ever heard of a mysterious, almost scary, strange plant?
Other than being fascinating, Tacca chantrieri or the Bat Flower is no doubt a perfect example of a mysterious, almost scary, strange plant.