'Mr Stinky' flowering in Wellington

01:39, Oct 13 2011
MR STINKY: A rare flower called the Devil's Tongue  is blooming at Wellington Botanic Gardens.
MR STINKY: A rare flower called the Devil's Tongue is blooming at Wellington Botanic Gardens.

A rare flower that smells and looks like rotting flesh has bloomed in the Botanic Gardens.

The Devil's Tongue, nicknamed ''Mr Stinky" by council staff, started flowering this week.

''In a few days it will start to send out waves of truly revolting scent,'' visitor services officer Charmaine Scott said.

''The flower is both sinister and elegantly beautiful - it would look right at home in a vampire's house.

"There is nothing beautiful about the smell though. In nature the plant is pollinated by flies so its strategy is to smell like a dead thing. It sure does and of course, kids love it."

The plant is relatively rare in New Zealand. It takes up to a decade to start flowering and usually only flowers twice.

"The flower itself only lasts for about a week so this is a brief opportunity for people to see - and smell - this special and revolting plant.''

Another Devil's Tongue at the Botanic Garden flowered last year.

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The Dominion Post