13 Oct 2012

Big stink at Botanic Garden

4:40 pm on 13 October 2012

A plant that mimics the smell of rotting flesh to attract flies is on display at the Botanic Garden in Wellington.

The Dracunculus Vulgaris, commonly known as the voodoo lily, began flowering on Thursday.

General manager David Sole said it will emit a strong stench of putrid meat for about a week.

"It's quite pretty when the flower begins to emerge, then becomes more grotesque," he said.

"A spadix (spike) about 700mm grows, it's a deep wine violet and smells like carrion."

Mr Sole said the plant, native to the Aegean, originally belonged to a member of the public, who donated it because of the overpowering odour.