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Black Bat Flower

Tacca chantrieri


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.

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LeanneGardner 5 years ago

Thank you The Shroom. They certainly are spectacular in flower :)

LeanneGardner 7 years ago

Thank you Leuba, harsuame, OnengDyah, Karen, Ignacio & Mary.

MaryEvans2 7 years ago

Very interesting for sure - and I can see how walking up on it good give someone a startle. Great spot and photo series.

Ignacio Gamboa
Ignacio Gamboa 7 years ago

Amazing flower!

KarenL 7 years ago

What a stunning flower!

OnengDyah 7 years ago


harsuame 7 years ago

Espectacular bella flor

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 7 years ago

Amazing ! it looks like it's from another planet. You'd never find anything like this in sunny Melbourne...Thanks for posting this.

LeanneGardner 7 years ago

That sounds like a plan! I miss Cairns too, so much beauty everywhere you look.

Christiane 7 years ago

It is too dry here where I live.. maybe I have to build a tropical green house! I miss Cairns.

LeanneGardner 7 years ago

This is one of my boss' pot plants Christiane & I've honestly never taken much notice of it. It has certainly never flowered in the 5 years I've worked there, until now. I have planted them before at a resort I worked at in Cairns, but the flower was much smaller. I hope you get to see one here in Australia. This one nearly had me in tears!! :)

Christiane 7 years ago

WOW.. I love this flower.. I have never seen them here in Australia. I have only seen them in Asia.
Next time I am in Mackay I have to have a better look around!

LeanneGardner 7 years ago

Thank you very much Viv. I cant believe my luck that this was flowering the day I took my camera to work, something I rarely do. I share your love for it. It's just so unusual in so many ways. Thanks for your lovely comment :)

VivBraznell 7 years ago

I love this flower, the colour and form is amazing. I saw it for the first time in Queen Sirikit Botanic Gardens in Chiang Mai many years ago before I had a decent camera, so my photos really don't do the plant justice, but yours do. Beautiful set of images Leanne!

LeanneGardner 7 years ago

It sure is Harsha. Thank you :)

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 7 years ago


LeanneGardner 7 years ago

Thank you Sachin & misako.hill :)

misako 7 years ago


Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 7 years ago

Wonderful series,

Spotted by

Queensland, Australia

Lat: -21.42, Long: 149.22

Spotted on Apr 19, 2012
Submitted on Apr 19, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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