As there have been a few enquiries on the growing of this plant, here are a few tips.

First: this is a tropical beauty so don’t just “shove it in the ground” if you live in Adelaide or Edmonton. In most parts of the world it’s considered a “pot plant” and probably needs a heated greenhouse in harsh winters.

But it should be “do-able” if you treat it well.

Probably the important points to note are soil conditions: must be free-draining and temperature: summer 25 – 29deg Celsius (75 – 85deg Fahrenheit) and winter
15 – 18deg Celsius( 60 – 65deg Fahrenheit).

Seed is available commercially from several places, but germination is sometimes tricky, so seek a good nursery and buy an established plant. Growth is late spring through summer (yeah, I know, here we are almost in winter and my silly thing is throwing flowers!), when it needs to be kept moist so you might need to use a mist spray.If you don’t have a heated greenhouse you could bring it indoors, but if you favour central heating, keep a close eye on Batty!

And while we’re at it, Google “images, bat plants” and drool over that GORGEOUS white-flowered one.

As Mr. S. says: I hope that this helps.

And some more botanical Latin for Vicus!

If Carl Linnaeus
Could only see us,
In our struggle tyrannical
With nomenclature botanical…
He’d have written his damn’ list in English!

Most of you seem to like the gardens in this part of the world, although I admit that not all my photos are taken in my own garden!

But this morning, once the sun had taken the bitter chill off the morning (yes, 12 deg Celsius IS bitter at 6am when you live in a wide-open house, so please don’t flood me with horror stories of the frost heaves on the Manitoba highway or the skatable ice on your ponds in Alberta or the demise of your goldfish in Galway, ok?) I wandered about with the camera. Nothing much in the “spectacular” line at present, this being our slow season, but one or two treats for you:

Let’s begin with “name this plant.”
I mentioned this one recently…let’s see just who was paying attention and who was carving hearts on the desk.

Not the best- focussed picture! These are the velvety buds of the Michelia figo (Port wine magnolia) at the back gate. A very heady perfume when in flower;some folks say it’s like over-ripe bananas!

Aeschynanthus; the flowers appear at the end of very long stems so it needs to be hung from head-clearance height. This one is over on the pergola, well clear of anyone bigger than a dwarf. Actually, even dwarves (or dwarfs) might have to stoop to get by. This was getting too big for its pot so I ripped out some of it and poked it (no finesse!) into another hanging basket from which it, too, causes traffic delays. I expect, any day day now, to be visited by the SPHOSP*

Tecomanthe hillii, the Fraser Island creeper. A bit of a misnomer, I think, since this beauty certainly doesn’t “creep” her way through gardens, up trees, over fences. Pruning and training is an ongoing chore. Why do I bother with it? Because it’s pretty!

Here are some of the buds (they form along the stems)…
And here’s the tearaway, heading for the top of a 20′ tree.No, I will NOT be climbing up there to prune it!
For those who might want to know, the flower bells are reminiscent of foxgloves.

Lest you think I grow nothing but pretty pink flowers…
Some of the tarragon (yellow flowers) and curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) that have fought back against the invasion of the Banana Barons. This area, formerly a raised vegetable patch, is ear-marked for the chooks. Well, it’s now too shady in winter and too hot in summer for leafy vegetables so they are tucked in here and there whenever I find or create space.

Tacca chantrierei, the Bat Plant. This one is mine, showing new (if somewhat scrotal!) flower buds. (And see those bright green seedlings in the pot? They are **%&$#!! palm seedlings.I do not want them! I am forever yanking the wretched things out. A bit like painting the Forth Bridge…)

And this is a picture from the web.

And now, I think I’ve given you enough to be envious of.

I may be away for a while, but I’ll still be visiting, so keep that coffee pot hot. Or the wine chilled.

*Society for the Prevention of Humiliation Of Small Persons

dinahmow's photos

More of dinahmow’s photos

And the answer to name this plant..
I noticed this flower bud this morning on the Blue Butterfly I mentioned a couple of posts ago. If it does flower, I’ll certainly show you. Depends how much colder the weather gets!


  1. I’m envious – I had a bat plant I bought at the Rare Plant Fair in Bilpin NSW – should have known that you don’t take a rare plant from some precious place and dump it in Coogee where it got the salty winds and the western sun in summer. It just faded away. Is yours sheltered, certainly looks happy enough? Oh, and I’ll have a chilled NZ Marlborough sauvignon blanc please, while you’re offering wine.


  2. Thank you. Edifying and entertaining.

    Tarragon sounds like the Gujerati for “your ass”. I have had, as you may imagine, hours of fun with that one. Nibbling on a bit of tarragon. And so on.
    I hope that this helps.


  3. carol…my bat is under palms, on the southern side.You could probably grow one if you had a cool, shady place.Just give it room to throw out those big flowers! And a chilled sav.blanc coming up!

    vicus…OK, I’m never eating chicken tarragon again!

    r.e.w. No, it’s not really creepy. A little weird, maybe.Wait til you see the carnivorous ones!


  4. I love that gorgeous flowering vine (forgot the name already) and the bat plant appeals to me as well, but what’s this talk of carnivorous plants? I thought they were only in the Amazon. As always, gaining more knowledge from you.


  5. So that’s what is looks like on Mars. Thanks, Di. Now excuse me while I chip the permafrost from my Hummer so I can go to the ice rink to warm up a little.


  6. ellen…well, I think the carnivores originated there, but they’ve been popular in the “real” world for years.(They trap small insects and the enzymes digest the bug juice.Great dinner party conversation!)

    andrea…they say urine takes the sting out of chilblains…


  7. dinahmow – wow again on the flora. That blooming ‘creeper’ is absolutely spectacular. English ivy and blackberries are the only things that seem to grow with such heady abandon here…

    And yeah, the bat plant is a bit disconcerting, but cool. I always appreciate your plant pics and posts!


  8. i love that bat plant dinahmow, i wonder if that would grow here in massachusetts? it would go well in the “gothic garden” i keep fantasizing about planting…

    i also can’t wait to see the carnivorous plants, do you have pitcher plants? i’ve been accused of being obsessed with my small but hungry venus fly trap.


  9. dinah!
    Gardening is second only to cooking in things I cannot achieve – this post is depressing!

    I’m so jealous.

    Post a picture of that puppet you were making way back last century – please.

    (raining here ha ha ha ha ha well it was bank hol yesterday and 1/2 term this week)


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