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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Dioscoreales

Familia: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Tacca
Species: T. ampliplacenta – T. ankaranensis – T. bibracteata – T. borneensis – T. celebica – T. chantrieri – T. ebeltajae – T. integrifolia – T. khanhhoaensis – T. leontopetaloides – T. maculata – T. palmata – T. palmatifida – T. parkeri – T. plantaginea – T. reducta – T. subflabellata – T. weberi

Tacca J.R.Forst. & G.Forst., Char. Gen. Pl. 35. (1775)
Type species: Tacca leontopetaloides (L.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 704 (1891) Designated as synonym Tacca pinnatifida J.R.Forst. & G.Forst., Char. Gen. Pl.: 70 (1776)


Ataccia C.Presl, Reliq. Haenk. 149. 1828.
Chaitaea Sol. ex Seem., Fl. Vit. 102. 1865.
Leontopetaloides Boehm., in Ludwig Gen. Pl. ed. 3, 512. 1760, nom. rej.
Schizocapsa Hance, J. Bot. 19: 292. 1881.

Note: Genus is also circumscribed in Dioscoreaceae (Govaerts et al., 2015)
Species in Synonymy

Tacca abyssinica Hochst. ex Baker
Tacca angustilobata Merr.
Tacca ankaranensis Bard.-Vauc.
Tacca artocarpifolia Seem.
Tacca aspera Roxb.
Tacca bibracteata Drenth
Tacca borneensis Ridl.
Tacca breviloba Warb. ex W.Limpricht
Tacca brownii Seem.
Tacca brownii var. paeoniifolia (Domin) H.Limpr.
Tacca celebica Koord.
Tacca chantrieri André
Tacca chantrieri f. macrantha (H.Limpr.) H.Limpr.
Tacca choudhuriana Deb
Tacca cristata Jack
Tacca dubia Schult.f.
Tacca ebeltajae Drenth
Tacca elmeri K.Krause
Tacca esquirolii (H.Lév.) Rehder
Tacca fatsiifolia Warb. ex W.Limpricht
Tacca flabellata J.J.Sm.
Tacca gaogao Blanco
Tacca garrettii Craib
Tacca guineensis G.Don ex Loud.
Tacca hawaiiensis W.Limpricht
Tacca integrifolia Ham. ex Hook.f.
Tacca integrifolia Ker Gawl.
Tacca involucrata Schum. & Thonn.
Tacca laevis Roxburgh
Tacca lanceolata Seem.
Tacca lanceolata Spruce
Tacca lancifolia Zoll. & Mor. Syst. Verz. Zoll. 91.
Tacca lancifolia var. breviscapa Ostenf.
Tacca litorea Rumph.
Tacca macrantha Limpr.
Tacca maculata Seem.
Tacca maculata Zipp. ex Span. nom. inval.
Tacca madagascariensis Bojer
Tacca minahassae Koord.
Tacca minor Ridl.
Tacca montana Schult.f.
Tacca nivea hort.
Tacca oceanica Seem.
Tacca palmata Blume
Tacca palmatifida Baker
Tacca parkeri Seem.
Tacca parkeri f. paraensis H.Limpr.
Tacca parkeri var. lanceolata H.Limpr.
Tacca paxiana H.Limpr.
Tacca phallifera Schult.f.
Tacca pinnatifida J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.
Tacca pinnatifida subsp. interrupta (Warb.) H.Limpr.
Tacca pinnatifida subsp. maculata (Seem. ) H.Limpr.
Tacca pinnatifida subsp. madagascariensis (Bojer) W.Limpricht
Tacca pinnatifida var. aconitifolia F.Muell. ex Bentham
Tacca pinnatifida var. brownii (Seem.) F.M.Bailey
Tacca pinnatifida var. maculata (Seem. ) Domin
Tacca pinnatifida var. paeoniifolia Domin
Tacca pinnatifida var. permagna Domin
Tacca pinnatifolia Gaertn.
Tacca plantaginea (Hance) Drenth
Tacca quanzensis Welw.
Tacca rafflesiana Jack ex Wallich
Tacca reducta P.C.Boyce & S.Julia
Tacca roxburghii H.Limpr.
Tacca rumphii J.C.Schau.
Tacca samoensis Reinecke
Tacca sativa Rumph.
Tacca sprucei Benth.
Tacca subflabellata P.P.Ling & C.T.Ting
Tacca sumatrana W.Limpricht
Tacca ulei W.Limpricht
Tacca umbrarum Jum. & H.Perrier
Tacca weberi Elmer
Tacca vesicaria Blanco
Tacca vespertilio Ridl.
Tacca wilsonii H.Limpr.
Tacca viridis Hemsley


Forster, J.R. & Forster, J.G.A. (1775) Characteres Generum Plantarum 35.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2015. Tacca in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2015 Sept. 12. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2015. Tacca. Published online. Accessed: Sept. 12 2015. 2015. Tacca. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2015 Sept. 12.
V.S. Dang & Vuong (Taccaceae), a new species from southern Vietnam] PhytoKeys 114: 115-122 30 Dec 2018 DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.114.29367[ Tacca khanhhoaensis

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: takka
български: Така (род)
čeština: Tacca
Deutsch: Tacca
English: Arrowroot
suomi: Viiksikit
français: Tacca
lietuvių: Karčiuotė
Nederlands: pijlwortel
polski: Krąpielowate
svenska: Taccasläktet
中文: 蒟蒻薯属

The genus Tacca, which includes the batflowers and arrowroot, consists of flowering plants in the order Dioscoreales, native to tropical regions of South America, Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, and various oceanic islands.[1] In older texts, the genus was treated in its own family Taccaceae, but the 2003 APG II system incorporates it into the family Dioscoreaceae.[2] The APG III and APG IV systems continue to include Tacca in Dioscoreaceae.[3][4]


Many Tacca species have nearly black flowers, with conspicuous involucral bracts and bracteoles like whiskers.[5] Engbert Drenth hypothesized that species of this genus attracted "carrion and dung flies" for pollination and that the fleshy seam of the seed might be attractive to ants and hence that ants might aid in seed dispersal.[6]

Earlier classifications placed the genus within the monogeneric family Taccaceae, which in turn was the sole family in the order Taccales. Dahlgren recognised the similarities to the genera within the Dioscoreales, and incorporated the family into that order.[7]

There are at least 16 species,[8]

Tacca ampliplacenta L.Zhang & Q.J.Li - Yunnan
Tacca ankaranensis Bard.-Vauc., 1997 - Madagascar
Tacca bibracteata Drenth - Sarawak
Tacca borneensis Ridl. - Borneo
Tacca celebica Koord. - Sulawesi
Tacca chantrieri André, 1901 - Indochina, Assam, Bangladesh, Tibet, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Yunnan
Tacca ebeltajae Drenth - Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands
Tacca integrifolia Ker Gawl., 1812 - Tibet, Bhutan, Assam, Bangladesh, Indochina, India, Pakistan, Java, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo
Tacca leontopetaloides (L.) Kuntze, 1891 - widespread across tropical Africa, Madagascar, Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Australia, and various islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans
Tacca maculata Seem., 1866 - Western Australia, Northern Territory, Fiji, Samoa
Tacca palmata Blume -, Indonesia, Indochina, Malaysia, Philippines, New Guinea
Tacca palmatifida Baker - Sulawesi
Tacca parkeri Seem. - South America
Tacca plantaginea (Hance) Drenth, 1972 - Indochina, southern China
Tacca reducta P.C.Boyce & S.Julia - Sarawak, Borneo, Malesia
Tacca subflabellata P.P. Ling & C.T. Ting, 1982 - Yunnan


Tacca lanceolata Spruce - Brazil, Venezuela = Tacca parkeri Seem.[9][10]


Several species are cultivated as ornamental plants for their bold foliage and large flowers. The well-known T. chantrieri goes by the names of black batflower, bat-head lily, devil flower or cat's whiskers. Tacca integrifolia is known as the purple or white batflower. Other cultivated varieties include the arrowroot, T. leontopetaloides, and T. cristata aspera.[11][12]

Black bat flower, Tacca chantrieri, close-up of flower

Tacca cristata, flowering

Ankarana arrowroot, Tacca ankaranensis, flower

Polynesian arrowroot, Tacca leontopetaloides, mature plants

Tacca maculata Mirima National Park


Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Caddick, L. R., P. Wilkin, P. J. Rudall, T. A. J. Hedderson & M. W. Chase. 2002. Yams reclassified: a recircumscription of Dioscoreaceae and Dioscoreales. Taxon 51(1): 103–114.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. ISSN 0024-4074.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2016). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 181 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1111/boj.12385. ISSN 0024-4074.
Ling Zhang; Spencer C H Barrett; Jiang-Yun Gao; Jin Chen; W W Cole; Yong Liu; Zhi-Lin Bai; Qing-Jun Li (1 March 2005). "Predicting mating patterns from pollination syndromes: the case of "sapromyiophily" in Tacca chantrieri (Taccaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 92 (3): 517–524. doi:10.3732/AJB.92.3.517. ISSN 0002-9122. PMID 21652430. Wikidata Q39626349.cite Q
Engbert Drenth (1972). "A revision of the family Taccaceae". Blumea. 20 (2): 367–406. ISSN 0006-5196. Wikidata Q96027961.
Dahlgren & Clifford 1982.
Catalogue of Life: 2017 Annual Checklist Tacca
Catalogue (2017)
Govaerts, R., Wilkin, P. & Saunders, R.M.K. (2007). World Checklist of Dioscoreales. Yams and their allies: 1-65. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Flora of China, Vol. 24 Page 274, 蒟蒻薯属 ju ruo shu shu, Tacca J. R. Forster & G. Forster, Char. Gen. Pl. 35. 1775.


Dahlgren, Rolf; Clifford, H. T. (1982). The monocotyledons: A comparative study. London and New York: Academic Press.
Germplasm Resources Information Network: Tacca
Taccaceae in L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz (1992 onwards), The families of flowering plants
Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.

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