Tacca integrifolia or Giant Bat Plant
Although the foliage is attractive, Tacca integrifolia really shines when it bursts into bloom.
If you live in a warm climate, or have an enclosed patio, and you are looking for a real show stopper of a plant. Then Tacca integrifolia commonly called the White Bat Flower could be worth a try.
A few varieties are around including Tacca integrifolia nivea, also known as the ‘Cat’s Wiskers’ plant. And you can grow them them from seed, generally available on ebay.
These are a large plant once they mature, reaching around 1m. The flower spike reaches this height held well above the foliage. They do look best when in flower, however the large pleated foliage is also attractive.
The variety T.integrifolia nivia has paler foliage than the species, we think more attractive. The flowers are a clear white.
Always use pure rainwater on these wonderful plants. Tap water with chlorine is not suitable in the long run.
Fertilize using a slow release fertilizer.
The seeds of T. integrifolia are fairly hard and are best soaked in warm water for 24 hours before planting out into individual pots.
You will need a propagator that can provide consistent bottom heat to maximise germination.
Seeds can take 2 – 3 months to germinate.
A native of Malaysia Tacca Integrifolia likes a well drained warm protected position in light shade. With fantastic foliage and flower this one is a unique plant.
Tacca chantrieri or ‘Black Bat Plant’ is smaller growing and a little more difficult.
Tacca integrifolia Problems
Leaves turning Black
Usually due to conditions being to cold.
Black Spots on foliage
Usually a fungal disease, ensure good air flow, you can use a commercial Black Spot fungicide.
Bat Plants are available for sale from the following growers
LOOK FOR SEEDS and PLANTS on Ebay
PARADISE DISTRIBUTORS – phone 07 5441 5921