Dunedin's infamous smelly corpse flower draws thousands

Fancy the smell of rotting flesh? 

Thousands of people queued at Dunedin's Botanic Garden on Sunday for the chance to sniff the city's first fully bloomed corpse flower. 

One told Newshub it was like waiting for a rock star. 

People were divided on what the famously fragrant flower smelled like, with some suggesting rotting flesh and others dirty socks. One person thought it smelled like "very good European cheese".

The plant was gifted to the garden a decade ago and this is the first time it has flowered.

Dunedin Botanic Garden Collection curator Stephen Bishop says the corpse flower lives up to its macabre name.

"The whole plant itself is actually trying to mimic a dead animal, so the colour of the flower, the smell."

The potent plant is the first in the South Island, and the southernmost corpse plant in the world. It's grown from the size of a golf ball - now the bulb alone weighs 32kg.

It has to be kept in a tropical climate above 20degC, but the flower doesn't bloom for long - just two to three days.

Mr Bishop says no one knows when it will open again.

"It might be next year; it could be another 10 years away."

One thing's for certain - the memory of the flower's stench will linger long after it closes.