flor murcielago

The bat flower: one of the rarest orchids on the planet. Characteristics and care

Hello friends. The orchid is the species of flower that has more varieties. Today we will talk about a very particular: the bat flower.

The bat flower


The scientific name of the bat flower is Tacca chantrieri. However it is also known by other names such as cat whiskers and devil’s flower, for its curious appearance. This variety is native to the tropical zones of South Asian countries such as India, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, among others.

bat flower


10 seeds

The bat flower reaches between 50 and 70 cm in height. Its stems are short and are born from a rhizome with a cylindrical shape, thick and fleshy. Its leaves are simple, erect and dark green, can measure between 10 and 30 cm. But the most curious thing about this plant is precisely the shape and color of its flower, which gives rise to the ingenious names.

Its flowers are bisexual and actinomorphic. These are found on a long, leafless stem from which four large bracts germinate, the two outer ones are pointed while the two inner ones are broadly oval and have a wavy margin. From the center of the large bracts a good number of solitary flowers with a globose shape and with 6 petals each arise. In addition, to each inflorescence, they accompany a kind of narrow and long filaments in a blackish red tone.

Its fruit is a purple, fleshy berry with approximate dimensions of 4 x 1.2cm.

Care and reproduction

Flor murciélago: una orquídea especial

The bat flower needs a fertile and humid soil, but not waterlogged, rich in organic matter. It must also remain in the shade and with a minimum temperature of 14ºC.

It is multiplied by division of the rhizomes and by seeds. This plant blooms at the end of spring, from four to six weeks, but sometimes it takes time to germinate. It is a good practice to change it from pot every two years approximately.

The sowing by seeds should be in pots or in seedbeds, taking into account the soil characteristics mentioned above. It takes several months to germinate, so you must have patience. When the seeds have germinated and are ready for transplantation you should select a pot that is 8 to 10cm in diameter, so you have enough space to grow. As the plant grows it must be transplanted for larger pots.

50 seeds

Although these flowers are beautiful and we can use them as decoration, we must bear in mind that the flowers are not cut. This is because they wilt very fast after separating it from the plant.

To learn more about other types of orchids visit our article: The orchids

You can see more images in our Orchid Gallery

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