The Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)
Roses are red, violets are blue, the Black Bat flower is, well, black... kind of? Flowers are always fascinating to see, especially if they deny what we expect to see in flowers. They are also called the Devils Flower or Cat's Whiskers. So let's look at this flower and see what makes it so unique.
Physical Description and Behavior
This flower has two large petals, which are usually black (or more like a deep purple) and looks a lot like a bat that is in flight and can be 12 inches across. There is a variety that has white leaves that have been introduced as well. They also have extremely long filaments, which are also a dark purple in color and can grow up to 28 inches.
Scientists are unsure as to why these bracteoles are so long. However, the best guess is that they were important for pollinators back in the day who is probably now extinct. Others feel that it may help when it comes to photosynthesis. Sadly, there is not a lot of information when it comes to this flower.
This flower is actually a member of the yam family, so it has a small bulb in is roots that hold nutrients. Since they bloom in the late summer, early fall, they are awesome to have just in time for Halloween. Place these on your windowsills for people to think you're a Witch.
Habitat and Location
This species is native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia which includes Thailand, Malaysia, and southern China. It is very common in Yunnan Province. They grow best in warmer areas with well-drained soil and good air circulation, but grow best in areas when they get at least 60% shade time.
Check out this awesome video in order to get more information on this fascinating plant!