bat plant

noun

variants or bat flower
: either of two rhizomatous perennial herbs of the genus Tacca (T. chantrieri and T. integrifolia) that are native to tropical Asia and are grown as ornamentals especially for their unusual flowers which have a long, threadlike appendage and are borne in umbellate clusters subtended by large, usually deep purple or black, winglike bracts
It does have the characteristic large bracts (modified leaves, like the poinsettia) and the small dark flowers as well as the strange whiskers found on both of those bat plants.Sue Kittek, Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania), 25 Feb. 2006
Rich green foliage, lanky maroon-black petals and wispy tendrils give the bat flower an exotic look …Cindy Tumiel, San Antonio Express-News, 5 July 2003

Word History

First Known Use

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bat plant was in 1959

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Cite this Entry

“Bat plant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bat%20plant. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

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