Tacca chantrieri

Lindsay is again the author of today’s entry:

Thank you to Brent Miller aka foliosus@Flickr who submitted today’s photograph and inspired today’s Hallowe’en entry (original image | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool)!.

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.

Tacca chantrieri

14 responses to “Tacca chantrieri”

  1. elizabeth a airhart

    oh the ghosties and goulies are
    walking the gardens and pathways
    the horse man rides with his head
    in his arm jack carries his lantern
    trying to find his way after dealing
    with the devil and do not step
    on any cracks today watch for black cats
    and bat flowers BOO to you all

  2. DikDik

    A perfect photo for Hallowe’en. Thanks for searching it out, Brent and to Lindsay for the entry, and to Daniel for posting it.

  3. Joyce


  4. Carole Miller

    Thank you Elizabeth for your entry. I enjoy them as much as the photo of the day.

  5. sandyinz4

    This is one of the highlights of my email reading time of day. Upgrade the servers- take as much time as you need. Just keep the beautiful pictures coming and thanks to every contributor and also to everyone who makes neat comments.

  6. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Very interesting flower! I love the creepiness, too.
    Those who enjoy following links, may like this page from a few years ago. The glass pumpkins are really fun.

  7. Mary Ann, in Toronto
  8. Elizabeth

    ( o,- )
    -“- “-\|-¸.·´¯`·.¸★
    `·.¸★ What a beautifully spoooky flora species! ·.¸★

  9. Janet A.

    Wow! Interesting flower–you can see why it’s called “bat flower.” It really does look like bats hanging down! What an amazing and wonderful variety of plants our world has. Thanks for showing them to us every day.

  10. Deborah Lievens

    Great post for Halloween. But Elizabeth, I’m totally out of the loop. I would love to know what you said.

  11. ingrid

    This is so good, totally botanically Hallowe’en, I saw the bats straight away when I saw the picture! Just fab!!!
    I too love elizabeth a’s poetry…keep it forever coming along with BPotD 😀 Thanks to you all.

  12. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Deborah, is it Elizabeth’s pictogram that you’re asking about? It took me a while to see it. Perhaps this slightly tweeked version makes it clearer…
    ( o,o)
    -“- “-\|-¸.·´¯`·.¸★

  13. Deborah Lievens

    Thanks, Mary Ann. Now I get it. Cute, Elizabeth. Whoops, I was thinking about a verbal message.

  14. Susan Gustavson

    Ah, but the second owl isn’t winking…
    Fabulous flower, and interesting info as usual. Thanks

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