Tacca chantrieri is a popular indoor, flowering, ornamental plant due to its unique flower morphology and shade tolerance. It can grow up to the height of 36 inches. Black bat flower plant has large, bright green leaves with a smooth texture and has an underground bulb which is used for storing of nutrients. It produces an impressive flower, which consists of 2 large dark brackets (leaves that look like petals) and long filaments that are forked at the ends. Dark colored brackets look like wings, while filaments resemble whiskers of a bat, hence it is called as black bat flower. Flowers are 12 inches wide and have 28 inches long filaments. The first flower will appear on a plant after full growth of at least 3 to 4 leaves. It has purple to black flowers, but they also can be maroon, bronze, brown and green colored. It blooms from late spring to early autumn. The plant can bloom 8 times per season and produce 6 to 12 flower stems during that period. It is a herbal remedy for various health-related problems. It has been said that the plant has good anti-inflammatory properties due to its steroidal components in its tuberous roots making it good for treating burns, gastric ulcers, stomach-aches and incised wounds.
Scientific Name: Tacca chantrieri
Common Name: Black bat flower, Bat-head lily, Devil flower or Cat’s whiskers.
How to grow and maintain Tacca chantrieri:
Tacca chantrieri prefers to be in a light spot but not in direct sunlight.
Tacca chantrieri requires a potting blend and loamy soil with a ph level of 6.1 – 7.5. It grows best in weakly acidic soil, weakly alkaline soil.
In the winter season, keep the plant temperature between 60-65° F. In the summer season, it prefers temperatures in the 75-85° F range.
Water the Tacca chantrieri plant when the top 1/2 inch of soil starts to feel dry to the touch. Water with warm tap water until the excess drains from the bottom. Drain the excess water from the drip tray so the water level does not rise above the top of the stones.
Feed your plant with liquid fertilizer, every 2-4 weeks for best results.They are heavy feeders and also appreciate the use of controlled-release fertilizer. The heavy salts in cheaper fertilizers will damage the roots and possibly kill the plant.
Tacca chantrieri can be propagated from seeds or plant rhizomes. Seeds can take a long time to grow. Most of the people propagate them using the rhizomes or tuberous roots. The rhizomes can be divided at repotting time in the spring.
Pests and Diseases:
No serious pests and disease problems.