Tacca Species, Bat Flower, Cat's Whiskers, Devil Flower

Tacca chantrieri

Family: Taccaceae
Genus: Tacca (TAK-kah) (Info)
Species: chantrieri (shon-tree-ER-ee) (Info)
Synonym:Tacca esquirolii
Synonym:Tacca garrettii
View this plant in a garden



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

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

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade





Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (yellow-green)

Dark Purple/Black



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:



Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Long Beach, California

, Eastern Cape

Bartow, Florida

Bonita Springs, Florida

Clearwater, Florida(2 reports)

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

Orlando, Florida(2 reports)

Port Charlotte, Florida

Punta Gorda, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Venice, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida(2 reports)

Hilo, Hawaii(2 reports)

Park Ridge, Illinois

Mebane, North Carolina

Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Columbia, South Carolina

Cedar Park, Texas

Houston, Texas

Kirbyville, Texas

Cabin Creek, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 29, 2017, Kdoss from Venice, FL wrote:

I've only had my Black Bat plant for a short period of time. I purchased it at my local plant center. It's still in the container it was in when I purchased it. This past week it has been cool, in the lower 50's. My plant has completely wilted so I brought it inside the past 2 days. I've followed all the care instructions and babied it from day one. It was doing well until it a couple of days ago. How can I help my plant recover?


On Jun 28, 2016, PearlyNk09 from Park Ridge, IL wrote:

I have just started growing bat flower from seed. I used orchid mix with a bit of sand 4 orchid mix, 1 sand with pebbles at the bottom of the pot for drainage. Out of 10 seeds, 3 sprouted and about 2 inches tall. I keep them near a bright window that gets about an hour of full morning sun. They seem to tolerate that much. Seems like even th seedlings can tolerate some dryness as I forgot to water for a couple days but usually water once (with misting a couple times a week) a day to keep moist.


On Feb 15, 2016, terryrat from Gorleston,
United Kingdom wrote:

i have purchased 3 of these bulbs but cannot find anything about the potting medium i actually assumed but wrongly the sender would include details can anyone tell me what i can use they are at present in an orchid medium of coir based fibre any advice would be grate full please


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


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.


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.


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.


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...?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


On Feb 1, 2010, Dieta5 from Glasshouse Mountains,
Australia (Zone 11) 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.


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.


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.


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...


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.