A plant that smells like rotting flesh will flower for the second time in 18 months at the Auckland Domain's Wintergarden.

The Amorphophallus titanum, also known as 'the corpse flower' due to the rotting flesh-like stench it produces when it begins to flower, attracted over 17,000 visitors when it flowered in December 2013, the first of its kind to flower in New Zealand.

The giant plant started to flower about eight days ago and could bloom sometime this week.

Auckland Domain manager David Millward of City Parks Services said the plants were unpredictable bloomers.


"It's hard to say when something would happen but we are obviously thrilled to see it active so soon after the last time," he said.

"We haven't done anything too special with it to be honest other than making sure it was in a constant temperature, fed it with liquid fertiliser and seaweed solution and ensured it was watered correctly.

"We also made the conscious decision not to disturb the corn by repotting it after flowering as this would not happen in its natural environment," said Mr Millward.

The corn, or tuber, produces a single leaf the size of a tree each year.

For seven to 10 years it goes through a lifecycle of leaf, dieback and dormancy.

Once the flower, known as 'inflorescence', starts to emerge it can grow at a rate of 10cm per day.

People can keep an eye on progress on the Wintergarden's Facebook page.

Fact box:

• The Amorphophallus titanum (also known as a 'titan arum' or 'corpse flower') originates in the rainforests of Sumatra in Indonesia.


• It has been growing at the council-owned nursery and Wintergarden for around nine years.

• The flower can grow to more than three metres tall.

• Both male and female flowers are produced in the same inflorescence - the female flowers open first and the male a day or two later.

• The Amorphophallus titanum is in the Wintergarden's tropical glasshouse, which maintains an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.

• The flower lasts no more than 48 -72 hrs.