Lindsay is again the author of today’s entry:
Historically, Hallowe’en is thought to have its origins in Samhain, a Celtic festival marking the end of the “lighter half” & the beginning of the “darker half” in the Gaulish calendar. What better to mark the arrival of the “darker half” of the year than this haunting beauty, Tacca chantrieri. Native to southeast Asia, Tacca chantrieri carries the mischievous common names of bat or devil flower. Bat flower is a reference to the dark bracts with prominent venation, while devil flower refers to the filaments that can grow to 70cm, terminating in a “forked tail”.
A menacing reputation follows this captivating, and somewhat unsettling, flower. Some people believe that the strange “eyes” appear to follow you around the room. Superstitions in southeast Asia include a belief that it is unlucky to look into the eyes of Tacca chantrieri and / or a belief that it brings death close to oneself and one’s family.
For more photographs, see Tacca chantrieri at the Wikimedia Commons.
Daniel adds: I wanted to let you know that the garden’s web site will be unavailable on Monday, November 2 beginning at ~9am PST. We are upgrading the server. I hope the outage is short, but it’s impossible to predict what we may need to troubleshoot to get everything up and running again.