Tacca chantrieri - Bat Flower

I don't have this one (yet) but I am working on it. The Bat Flower is an exotic tropical perennial from South-East Asia and Africa. Its highly prized deep purple-brown flowers look black at first glance. From these striking flowers droop long, delicate, whiskery tendrils. Its seed, freely available from established plants, should be sown in springtime in a pot of moist African Violet potting mix. Note: the seeds MUST be very fresh as seed propagation for this plant is very difficult. The plant can also be propagated by division of its rhizome in spring.

The plants will reach flowering size in about three years if you keep them warm and sheltered and give them a monthly liquid feed.
Always remember to keep them on the dry side in winter, at a temperature which does not drop below 13*C. Re-pot when growth commences in spring. The Bat Flower is an excellent indoor pot plant in temperate areas but in tropical or subtropical areas it can be grown outside in borders or as an understorey plant. Like many ferns, its lush, green, heavily veined foliage benefits from good, but not full sunshine.

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