Black bat flower is part of the Tacca genus and its scientific name is Tacca chantrieri.
In Malaysia they call it the Devil’s Flower and strange, fascinating stories surround it. Originating, no doubt, from the malevolent way the eyes in the bloom seem to be following your every move! It grows to about 2ft. in height with flowers complete with filaments or whiskers 12in. long forming a flowing forked tail. Grows from a cylindrical rhizome. The whiskers can grow to 20cm long.2
This variety typically blooms in the following colours: Warm black and Rich black and Maroon. The mature flowers take a clustered form, with an approximate petal count of 6. The leaves of this particular variety normally show as Forest green (web)
Black bat flower grows as a perennial and is a flower / orchid. Being a perennial plant, it tends to grow best over several years (approx 3 years and greater).
Black bat flower is known for its forb habit and growing to a height of approximately 60.0 cm (1.95 feet). This plant tends to bloom in late spring, followed by first harvests in early winter.
Try planting Black bat flower if you'd like to attract butterflies, bees and birds to your garden.
Malaysia is believed to be where Black bat flower originates from.
Be aware that Black bat flower typically needs a fair amount of maintenance and care in order to grow successfully. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests. Pay attention to weeding, feed and pruning schedules to ensure your plant remains in peak condition.
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Black bat flower have been kindly provided by our members.
During the growing season (late spring to late summer) the plants will need to be watered very regularly and the compost must be well drained. Pot on as required into 13cm (5in) and finally 20cm (8in) pots. Give very little water through the winter and provide a temperature of 15-18C (60-65F) through the winter and 25-29C (75-85F) through the summer. Re-pot in February/March, shade from strong sun and give the occasional mist spray through the summer.
If leaves appear to be drying or turning brown on the tips it needs more water and humidity. Needs fertilizer regularly.2
Tacca Chantrieri may bloom up to eight times each season. This plant is considered a collectors item.1
Tacca chantrieri will go dormant during the winter months and it will appear as if it was dying. It will not and will recuperate fast at the beginning of spring and start to grow new leaves.2
Plant in a location that enjoys full shade / dappled sun and remember to water often. Use Zone 8 - Zone 11 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Black bat flower requires a potting mix and loamy soil with a ph of 6.1 - 7.5 - it grows best in weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Black bat flower is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.
See our list of companion Plants for Black bat flower to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.
Sow immediately in trays, pots, etc of good seed compost in a propagator or warm place to maintain an optimum temperature of 27-29C (80-85F). It is essential that the soil temperature is high and kept steady. Sow 1.5mm (1/16in) deep in good moist seed compost and seal the container inside a polythene bag after sowing. Germination usually takes 1-9 months.
Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm (3in) pots of a good free draining compost, preferably a peat or peat substitute compost with 10% added grit.
This plant likes to be planted in a shallow wide pot with very rich well drained soil. It likes 50% pine bark, 40% peat moss, and 10% sand or a similar combination. In the outdoors it should be placed in shade.1Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 4°C / 39°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Black bat flower is a tender plant.
These estimates for how long Black bat flower takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.
Average 30 days | Min days | Max days (0)
Average 90 days | Min days | Max days (0)
Average 730 days | Min days | Max days (0)
Cat's whiskers, Devil flower, Outstanding Coryanthes, Devil's Tongue