In a small darkish alcove of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Conservatory, the amazing Black Bat Flower, Tacca chantrieri, has come to roost. The incredibly unusual black blooms of this plant have an almost bat like appearance, and hence their name.
The Black Bat Flower grows as an understory plant deep in the rainforests of Southeast Asia, from Thailand to southern China. They grow as epiphytes on trees or amongst the leaf litter of the forest floor in filtered low light conditions. Although they come from areas of high rainfall they do not like to sit in wet soils, prefering well drained potting mixes and regular watering in warm periods. They do not like to dry out for extended periods. They thrive in filtered light through to shade, but not direct sun.
In Tasmania you will need to keep them inside a protected environment such as the shady side of a warm sunroom. It is often surprising how variable and hardy they can be in some cases. They are sometimes available as indoor plants from large retail nurseries.