Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bat Flower, Cat's Whiskers, Devil Flower
Tacca chantrieri

Family: Taccaceae
Genus: Tacca (TAK-kah) (Info)
Species: chantrieri (shon-tree-ER-ee) (Info)

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

75 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Dark Purple/Black
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By IslandJim
Thumbnail #1 of Tacca chantrieri by IslandJim

By Baa
Thumbnail #2 of Tacca chantrieri by Baa

By RedSunDance
Thumbnail #3 of Tacca chantrieri by RedSunDance

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By RedSunDance
Thumbnail #7 of Tacca chantrieri by RedSunDance

There are a total of 28 photos.
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9 positives
5 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Geli On Jul 22, 2014, Geli from Manchester
United Kingdom wrote:

I spotted the Bat flower at the RHS Tatton Park show last year (2013) and immediately fell in love with and bought it! After reading up the care instructions I realised it will be difficult to look after here in the UK, as the temperatures naturally are not tropical! I kept it over winter in my lounge ensuring enough light and ambient temperature. It looked like I lost it, the leaves turned brown and no growth was showing at all! In spring time I moved it then into my Conservatory and left it to do what it wanted. Watered once a week and hey result, two leaves sprouted and at the base there are two knuckles swelling up. Are those the start of flowers approaching?? Please let me know if your plants did the same. Thank you

Positive morningloree On Dec 28, 2013, morningloree from Heathrow, FL wrote:

No problems with either foliage or flowering. I also read that misting is bad for the leaves, so I keep a saucer under the pot and water about once a week until the saucer fills up. Right now has 3 flowers in December, I keep it potted and on lanai, where it gets mostly shade.

Neutral ricasantos2001 On Nov 12, 2013, ricasantos2001 from Antipolo
Philippines wrote:

i just saw this plant in a nursery last weekend, here in the philippines. i was able to get a small one that i'll need to nurture until it's bigger. the pot is only about 4 inches diameter and the biggest leaf is 6 inches long. the mother plant has black bat flowers. crossing my fingers i don't kill it! though, it seems that our humidity and weather are going to be conducive to it's growth.

Positive petdocj On Jun 25, 2013, petdocj from Delray Beach, FL wrote:

i LOVE my bat flower. it gives me two blooms at a time most of the year here in south florida. haven't tried to germinate one yet but i think i will. i have mine in miracle grow and a moss basket. i put a tray under the basket and keep that filled with water. i don't mist but our humidity is perfect i think. i do have a problem with the leaves curling but i think it gets a bit of direct afternoon sun filtering down from the arecas.

Positive anglibet On Feb 8, 2013, anglibet from Albany, OR wrote:

I have found them easy to grow, but in a very light bark and perlite mix, allowing to dry between waterings. Not the keep moist recommended here...?

Positive Bluesbaby547 On Nov 24, 2012, Bluesbaby547 from Bundaberg
Australia wrote:

BLACK BAT PLANT - Tacca chantrieri
I saw one of these plants for sale. I decided I had better do some research on them, found myself at this great website.
After reading the info people have added I will now buy a plant for my daughters Christmas gift. Thanks to all who have commented.
I live in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia. Seems this would be a great place for this plant, can't wait to watch it grow.

Positive plantysue On Feb 12, 2012, plantysue from wellington
New Zealand wrote:

just brought my first black bat plant, am v exited! I read sprizting them is very bad, causes them to dry out and die, because the pores open then dont close again. aparently you take them into the bathroom when you shower they like the hot steam. Hopes this helps any readers.

Positive eliasastro On Dec 29, 2011, eliasastro from Athens
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

I don't understand why so many growers have problem in growing this plant. It has the reputation of being very prone to root roting.
I got a young plant last spring and it did fine, flowering all summer till late autumn. In the winter i keep it in an unheated room at an average temperature around 13C/55F. Very hot summer temperatures are not a problem at all, since this plant derives from the seasonally very hot climate of SE Asia. A well drained soil and careful watering are necessary. Also, direct sun must be avoided, because it can damage the plant or even kill it.

Negative smurfwv On Dec 18, 2011, smurfwv from Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

I'm on my 2nd tacca. The problem I have is new leaves turn brown and die. I've been misting the leaves to see if that helps, the plant itself never dies but all new growth turns black and shrivels. Any advice would be appreciated.

Neutral darlenedeacon On Mar 20, 2011, darlenedeacon from Deerfield Beach, FL wrote:

My Tacca Chantrieri is in bloom now, Mid-March, in South Florida. I just collected some seeds, which drop quickly, so you really have to keep an eye on it. I have mine in a mostly shade location and in a mixture of sand and compost mixture. I keep it moist year round and I've had wonderful success with it. It's an amazing and beautiful plant.

Negative MysterySchoolGirl On Sep 12, 2010, MysterySchoolGirl from Abington, CT wrote:

Hello I'm A school girl from W.a
I dont actually have a Garden...
I'm doing an assignment on plants and i happened to come across a beautiful plant Called the Tacca Chantrieri,
I would really like to use the information you all have put up on this website....although i need copyright persmission
(my teacher has asked us to do so) Could i please have your permission do copy this information?

Thankyou so Much (eitherway permission or not)
MysterySchoolGirl xx

Positive Dieta5 On Feb 1, 2010, Dieta5 from Glasshouse Mountains
Australia wrote:

My home is in the Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland, Australia.
I bought one plant about 1 1/2 years ago, (local nursery). It had one flower last year in December. It is growing in a pot because, it can be shifted into various shady locations, especially when it flowers. This year, December 2009 I had one flower again. There are four other new plants, that will have to be split up. This year we had a rather cold snap ( 8 degrees in the morning) it did not like that very much - had to be shifted into a warmer spot in the garden. Stunning flower - a talking point with visitors.

Neutral DaBenDan On May 11, 2007, DaBenDan from Vancouver
Canada wrote:

I have read that periodically while watering this plant you should use a mixture of 1 gallon of water to 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide..apparently the increase oxygen inhibits roots organisms from harming the plant..This is from the care book by Vessey's farms.

Neutral ranch45 On May 22, 2003, ranch45 from Interlachen, FL wrote:

Just received this plant yesterday and am looking forward to see it bloom! Will give update later in summer to advise on it's growing habit as I reside in North Central Florida.

Positive RedSunDance On May 21, 2003, RedSunDance from Kirbyville, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I acquired 2 small plants and have grown them successfully, including saving seedpods,and growing seedlings~I live in zone 8b and grow my Tacca in a container, overwintering in a greenhouse. I would not advise growing this plant in the garden, this is a tropical, and has some special needs...

Neutral Baa On Jan 10, 2003, Baa wrote:

A large perennial from parts of India and East Asia.

Has lance shaped, deep green, smooth leaves that can reach almost 2ft long. Bears small, dark green-maroon flowers that have 5 petals. Each umbel has a pair of large, dark brown to black bracts with dark green to black, long, hair-like appendages giving the plant a rather strange appearence.

Flowers mainly June-August

Needs a well-drained, open, acid soil with plenty of leaf mould, in light shade. Keep moist, mist the leaves regularly in summer and will need repotting about every 3 years.

Needs to be kept frost free at a temperature of at least 55F or 13C.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (3 reports)
Long Beach, California
Bartow, Florida
Bonita Springs, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Deerfield Beach, Florida
Deland, Florida
Delray Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Dunnellon, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida (2 reports)
Hollywood, Florida
Interlachen, Florida
Marco Island, Florida
Miami, Florida
Navarre, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Punta Gorda, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Hilo, Hawaii (2 reports)
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Columbia, South Carolina
Cedar Park, Texas
Houston, Texas
Kirbyville, Texas
Cabin Creek, West Virginia

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