A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife
The Black bat flower, Tacca chantrieri, is a species of flowering plant in the yam family Dioscoreaceae. Tacca chantrieri is an unusual species in that it has black flowers. These flowers are somewhat bat-shaped, are up to 12 inches across, and have long 'whiskers' that can grow up to 28 inches. There are different color types, including white and brown, both retaining the whiskers of the black variety. Tacca chantrierei grow wild in the tropical forest in Yunnan Province, China, where they can get as tall as 36 inches (~0.91 meters). They grow best in well-drained soil and high humidity but are hardy down to -3C. This particular plant's flowers were about 15cm across with 'whiskers' around 25cm long.
Although this plant is not native to Australia, I think it is worth a look. This one is growing at my boss' property, in a shaded area behind the shed. It actually gave me a fright for a moment when I came around the corner, then when I realised what it was I nearly cried with delight! Probably the most spectacular flower I've ever seen.