Formosan Lily

Lilium formosanum

Family: Liliaceae

Type of weed:

Flowering Months: , ,


A deciduous perennial herb with annual flowering stalks 1-2 m long. The plant has an underground bulb with numerous fleshy scales (similar to garlic).

Alternately arranged leaves are stalkless, mid to dark green and widely spaced along the stems. Leaves are hairless with entire margins and pointed tips.

Large trumpet-shaped highly fragrant flowers are pure white on the inside, pink or purple/brown stripes on the outside. It flowers in summer.

Many papery winged seeds borne in a large capsule.


Seeds and bulbs are spread by water, wind, humans, contaminated soil and in dumped garden waste.

Impact on bushland

Formosan Lily grows along roadsides and in bushland, grasslands and disturbed sites. It spreads easily and can displace native vegetation.


. Lower and Mid Mountains to Bullaburra.

Alternative planting

Native plants

Council provides a tool, on its Mountain Landscapes website, to help you choose native alternative plantings. Choose your village, soil, vegetation community and the purpose of your planting, and the tool will give you suggestions.

There are native nurseries in several Blue Mountains villages, including Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba. Please also ask at your favourite local nursery.


Control of Formosan Lily is difficult. Hand dig the plant out, making sure all parts of the bulb are removed. Treat before flowering. Bag all seeds (capsules). Follow-up treatment is required. Spraying with herbicide is generally ineffective.

For key points on these techniques:

  • See Weed Control Techniques
  • See Risks associated with control

For more info

For key points on these techniques: