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Black Bat Flower

Common name for a flowering plant with the botanical name Tacca chantrieri, and which is also commonly known by a variety of other names, including Bat Flower, Cats Whiskers, Devil Flower, Bat Head Lily, Bat Plant, Devilís Tongue, Black Tacca, Jews Beard, and Voodoo Flower. It is native to the tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and southern China, especially in Yunnan Province. Its spectacular black flowers leave nothing to the imagination as to where this plant gets its name, as the two bracts of each flower are shaped like the wings of a bat. In addition, the flowers have long cat-like whiskers, somewhat reminiscent of the filaments of the Spider Lily (fig.). The Black Bat Flower plant is listed in the yam family Dioscoreaceae (fig.), and is known in Thai as neraphusihthai.