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.
Soak seeds for 24 hours in warm water. If you have a thermos that is ideal to keep temperature consistent. If not, change water as frequently as possible to keep seeds warm.
Fill a pot with seed starting mix, (something containing a combination of perlite/vermiculite/peat moss/coir/pumice.) and water, allow to drain.
Place seeds 1/16 in. deep, and cover with light layer of soil. Use a spray bottle to keep soil moist, but not soaking wet. Do not water with a direct stream of water, this can bury seeds too deeply to germinate.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm/sunny location. Tacca needs consistent heat and moisture to germinate, ideally 80-85 degrees. Germination can take 2-6 months, please be patient!
Remove plastic wrap/dome cover once you have seedlings.