Friday, October 17, 2008

The fruit of the Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri) are more batlike than the flowers!

The days are shorter and cooler and we have begun to put the garden to sleep.
This week and next the containers and the tropical plantings around the Administration Building at the Arboretum are being deconstructed. One of the plants that will be saved is The Bat flower. There were at least two Bat flowers in mixed containers and Brad harvested the fruit. We broke one open and the seeds look like they are ripe. A quick search for germination information didn't reveal anything definitive, but the seed hasn't dried so there is a good chance any dormancies haven't set in yet. It would be just as easy to get new plants by dividing the parents, but hey, we never germinated Tacca before so....

I know Tacca in passing, but not well. It is not an especially beautiful plant, but it is a fascinating curiosity. Wouldn't it make a good companion plant for the orchids in the genus Dracula? I had never seen the fruit, but you have to love it; black (deep deep maroon) glossy fruit that ripens for Halloween. And they hang in bunches like bats in a cave. Too odd!

1 comment:

Darlene Deacon said...

I am curious to know how the propagation worked out. I am about to open my seed pods and do the same thing.