Tacca chantrieri, also known as black bat flowers, is a plant in the yam family. There are ten different species of bat flowers, each with its own size, color, and habitat. Black bat flowers are native to southeastern Asia’s tropical regions (China, Thailand and Burma). The natural habitat of black bat flowers is the jungle. It provides high humidity, shade, and well-drained soil, all of which are necessary for the plant’s proper growth and development. People grow black bat flower because of its large, decorative leaves and one-of-a-kind flowers. Unfortunately, black bat flower is extremely rare in the wild and cannot be easily cultivated because it can only survive in specific environmental conditions.
The black bat flower is a striking plant that can grow up to 36 inches tall. This impressive height allows it to stand out in any garden or indoor space, making it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. In addition to its height, the black bat flower is also known for its unique appearance, which resembles a bat in flight.
The leaves of the black bat flower are large and bright green, with a smooth texture. The texture of the leaves is smooth and glossy, giving them a shiny appearance. This smooth texture is due to the presence of a waxy coating on the surface of the leaves, which helps to prevent moisture loss and protect the plant from environmental stressors.
The underground bulb of the black bat flower is used to store nutrients.
The most striking feature of the black bat flower is (as the name implies) its flower. It is made up of two large dark brackets (leaves that resemble petals) and two long filaments (bracteole, modified leaves) that fork at the ends. Dark colored brackets resemble bat wings, while filaments resemble bat whiskers, hence the name.
The flowers of the black bat flower are 12 inches wide and have filaments that are 28 inches long. The first flower will appear on a plant after at least 3 to 4 leaves have fully developed.
The flowers of the black bat flower range from purple to black, but they can also be maroon, bronze, brown, or green.
White bat flower is a recently discovered close relative of black bat flower. The color of the brackets distinguishes it from the black bat flower. White bat flower has white brackets instead of black.
From late spring to early autumn, the black bat flower blooms. During the growing season, the plant can bloom 8 times and produce 6 to 12 flower stems.
Black bat flowers can be propagated via division of rhizome and tuber or via seeds.
Propagation via seed requires time and patience. Healthy seeds are formed only when capsule (filled with seed) naturally matures and splits while still on the plant This procedure could take up to 18 months.
Seed germination can take up to a year.
Black bat flowers dislike greenhouses because they lack ventilation. For successful growth, these plants require the same conditions (amount of humidity, light, and air) as orchids. Pests, fortunately, do not attack black bat flowers.
The plant’s unusual morphology is to blame for a widely held superstition. If you spend too much time looking at the plant, evil eye is said to start stalking you.
Another myth holds that excessive plant-watching can lead to the sudden death of an individual or a close relative.
The black bat flower is a perennial plant, which means it lives for more than two years.
The black bat flower is an endangered plant.