bat plant


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

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near bat plant

Cite this Entry

“Bat plant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!