Black Bat Flower

Black Bat Flower, Tacca chantrieri, a species of flowering plant in the yam family Dioscoreaceae.

Black bat flower, Tacca chantrieri, is a species of flowering plant in the yam family, Dioscoraceae. Tacca chantrieri is an unusual species with black flowers. The flowers are slightly bat-shaped, up to 12 inches, and have long ‘whiskers’ that can grow up to 28 inches. A variety of colors are available, including white and brown, which retain the mustache of the black variety. Tacca chantrierei grows wild in the tropical forest of Yunnan Province, China, where they can grow as tall as 36 inches (~0.91 m). They grow well in well-drained soil and high humidity, but are hardy down to -3C. The flowers of this particular plant were about 15 cm long and the ‘whiskers’ were about 25 cm long.

Although this plant is not native to Australia, I think it is worth a look. This is growing on my boss’s property, in a shady area behind the shed. It actually scared me for a moment, and when I got to the corner, I screamed with joy when I realized what it was! Probably the most spectacular flowers I have ever seen.

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