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Tacca chantrieri / The Bat flower (10 x seeds)
Tacca chantrieri / The Bat flower (10 x seeds)

Tacca chantrieri / The Bat flower (10 x seeds)

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Binomial name: Tacca chantrieri 

Family: Dioscoreaceae

Characteristics: Tacca chantrieri is an unusual plant in that it has black flowers. These flowers are bat-shaped, are up to 30cm across, and have long stamens or 'whiskers' that can grow up to 30cm. 

Seeds per packet: 10

Description: Seed can be sown throughout the year indoors in a mini glasshouse.

Planting medium: Seed raising mix (preferably organic).

Optimum germination temperature: 27°C.

  1. Create a mini glasshouse. Follow instructions here
  2. Fill a pot with seed raising mix - include in the sed mix a combination of perlite, vermiculite, peat moss and pumice, and water, and allow to drain.
  3. 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.
  4. Lightly press the seeds into the seed raising mix at a depth of 1.5mm. Space seeds about 5cm apart from each other (or in their own seed raising pot). Cover with a light sprinkle of soil. Use a spray mist to moisten seeds so seeds are not disturbed. Do not water with a direct stream of water, as this can bury seeds too deeply to germinate.
  5. Put lid on container to speed up germination, as it increases heat and conserves moisture. 
  6. Put mini glasshouse in indirect sun. Do not put in direct sun, as this will dry the planting medium. 
  7. Put container on heat pad or near a heat source (like a hot water cupboard). Keep lid / recycled plastic wrap / dome cover on container. Tacca needs consistent heat and moisture to germinate. Keep an eye on the soil and container. Keep moist, but if too much moisture builds up, take the cover off for a bit to allow excess moisture to evaporate. 
  8. Germination should be between 2-6 months.
  9. Remove the lid, wrap or dome when they are 3cm high. These plants will live happily in containers indoors for years.