Fascinating flower emerges

A rare Southeast Asian flower has bloomed in Hoedspruit. This peculiar flower has defied description and has been called the 'devil's flower', 'bat flower' or 'cat's whiskers', and is known as Tacca chantrieri to botanists.

The extraordinary flowers are almost black, with purplish-black bracts that produce long thin threads dangling almost to the ground. The plant flowers once a year, with the flowers emerging from the long-stemmed glossy leaves.

The plant is growing in the garden of Faan Boshoff, who acquired it from a Dutch horticulturist. He has three specimens in his garden, and believes that there are only seven in South Africa.

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