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Tacca chantrieri - Black Bat Flower

Tacca chantrieri is one of the strangest plants on the planet. Its dark purple blossoms are a foot across, with winged petals and long stamens that dangle a couple of feet. The blooms look like bat faces. This is quite a plant.

Tacca grows wild in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and needs a warm, shady, humid setting with good air circulation. It's downright finicky, but in the right conditions will grow three feet tall and bloom profusely.

Black Bat Flower will thrive in a container for years. If you live where it's hot and humid, you can grow it outdoors, but it is seriously tropical and does best indoors or in a greenhouse anywhere  else. Conditions have to be just right - filtered light, moist soil, good air circulation. When it's happy, it's robust, forming fat clumps that can send up a dozen blooms at a time.

This is a remarkable plant with beautiful foliage and extraordinary blooms. If you like a challenge, (or have a greenhouse), this plant is truly awesome.  

These fresh seeds were just collected and should germinate reliably. Older seeds are slower to germinate and can take up to 9 months to sprout. They're still worth the wait.

5 seeds

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