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TACCA chantrieri

Image of Tacca chantrieri

James Burghardt

Family

Taccaceae

Botanical Name

TACCA chantrieri

Plant Common Name

Batflower, Black Batflower

General Description

The large rippled leaves and outlandish blooms of black bat flower are a unique presence in the tropical garden or greenhouse. A tender semi-evergreen perennial that grows from an underground tuber, it is native to Thailand. Clumps of dark glossy-green lance-shaped leaves on long erect or arching petioles give rise to tall flower stalks. Clusters of maroon-black, cup-shaped flowers nod at their tips, made even more sinister by their wing-like basal bracts and spidery thread-like appendages. Sporadic flowering occurs year-round in warm moist conditions.

Grow black bat flower in fertile, moist, well-drained, warm soil with abundant organic matter. It does best in bright shade. Non-acidic soils cause yellow leaves. It is evergreen in warm moist climates, but goes dormant where seasonally cool or dry conditions prevail. Mulching is highly recommended. Flower stalks may be staked to best display the blossoms. It makes a peculiar and unique plant for a massed shady groundcover or a container.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    11 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H2

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Dark Red, Chocolate, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Groundcover, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No