When Bill and Shirley Everitt bought a cactus eight-and-a-half years ago they did not expect it to grow seven metres tall.
"We were told it would grow to one-and-a-half metres if it did grow at all," Mr Everitt said. Their Xanthorrhoea australis, more commonly known as a kangaroo tail, began to flower in May and the flower stem is now about seven metres tall.
"They are temperamental things. Some will go for 20-odd years and not flower," he said.
His plant had grown so fast you could almost see it growing, he added. "It grew about a foot a day - faster than bamboo."
The monstrous plant in their front yard has attracted a lot of attention from neighbours of the Maungatapu couple. "We've had a constant stream of people pull up here to have a look at it."
He said the plant was common in Australia.