Cat’s Whiskers

Cat's Whiskers - Bloom - mlm c@

Yesterday I was shopping at Lowe’s and, of course, I had to wander into the garden shop. Whenever I walk into a garden shop or nursery my heart sings. And, boy, oh boy, was it singing. I had to force myself not to buy a lot of plants because, of course, I wanted all of them — well, okay, most of them.

One in particular was this tropical plant that is completely new to me. It’s name is Cat’s Whiskers (Tacca chantrieri). It is also often called “black bat flower” or “devil’s flower”. The leaves look much like a large peace lily, but that flower… oh my. The colors seem to change as you move around it, first appearing to be deep purple/green/brown, then looking almost black in places.

Cat's Whiskers - mlm c@

Unfortunately, I could not get a camera angle that would exclude that rack of plastic pots on this particular bloom. It was the largest flower, and the only one with one of its “budlets” partially open.


Cat's Whiskers - Zoomed - mlm c@

That Open Bud — Will It Have More Whiskers?

Cat's Whiskers - Open Bud

Near the top left of this photo,  you see one of those smaller buds about halfway open. I was curious about whether all those little balls inside it will open to produce more “whiskers” or maybe some tiny flowers, so I “googled” it The photos I found showed a cluster of tiny pinkish-purple flowers inside each of those pendulous buds.

I want it. Gotta have it, but I can’t have it right now. It needs light, but can’t handle the harshness of afternoon sun. The tag said “morning sun only”. My heart sank. I have nowhere to put it that gets only morning sun. The tag also said it blooms spring, summer, and fall. There’s another reason to add it to my expanding garden. That does  it. I have to create more shade.



4 responses to “Cat’s Whiskers

  1. What a gorgeous plant! I’d want it in my garden too. I wonder if it can grow indoors? Your photographs are wonderful, and I appreciate so much that you always include the botanical names.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It probably can grow indoors, as long as it gets plenty of bright light, but direct light only in the a.m. I thought about potting one and putting in on our lanai, but I’m already running out of space there, too. As for the botanical names, I read somewhere years ago that you should always use botanical names when ordering plants. The reason given was this: Imagine you order a Christmas cactus. Further imagine the guy filing your order has a migraine, and reads the order, but packs a Christmas fern by mistake. That will not happen when using the full botanical name. So, I try to provide them on my site. There are still many photos on this site where I need to go back and add those names. You just gave me a great idea! I will write a post about botanical names. Thanks, girlfriend.


  2. I can see why you want it. I might have to look into one of these. I have a porch that gets only morning sun.

    Liked by 1 person

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