White Bat Flower
South East Asia
Tacca integrifolia is long-lived, short stemmed rhizomatous herbaceous plants. It has attractive, entire leaves, vertical growth habit and strange whisker-like (filiform) bracts below the flowers that can hang down for as much as 3m (1 foot) in length.. Tacca integrifolia has white bracts hovering over the nodding flowers. The bracts are beautifully veined with purple. Beneath the clusters of purplish flowers hang the long filiform bracts, the whiskers.
Flower stalks develop from the center of the inflorescence. A single umbel may produce around 25 flower stalks. The small flowers are also whilte but, occasionally there is a variation and the bracts are purple or pure white and very occasionally the whiskers can be white and each of them has five petals. Apart from the flower stalks, each umbel has numerous long and trailing filaments too. The filaments can have a length of around 10 inches. The flower (including the wing-like bracts) can be around 12 inches in width. The plant can attain a maximum height of 24 to 36 inches.
Tacca Integrifolia grows as an understory plant that thrives in partial shade, well-drained soil, warmth, and high humidity level. The plant prefers light shade and indirect sunlight. So, it is not advisable to keep it in full sun. If grown indoors, it can be placed near a south-facing window, where it will get bright, indirect light.
Black bat flower plants need regular watering during the growing season (late spring to late summer).The soil has to drain well, as sogginess may cause rotting of rhizomes. However, the soil has to remain moist for the plant to grow and bloom well. Make sure that the soil does not dry out completely.
The plant can be grown both on the ground and containers. Ideally use wide, shallow pots with good drainage holes. A good quality potting mix combined with some perlite may work.
During the growing season, feed the plant once in every two weeks. A general purpose fertilizer can be used for this purpose.Fertilizers meant for orchids are also fine for bat flowers. Avoid feeding the plant during its dormancy.
Tacca offers a long-lasting showy display as houseplant and in outdoor settings.
The general rule of thumb for planting spring bulbs is to plant two to three times as deep as the bulbs is tall. This means most large bulbs like tulips or daffodils will be planted about 8 inches deep while smaller bulbs will be planted 3-4 inches deep. Planting depth is measured from the bottom of the bulb.
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