Beechmont Landcare – Formosa Lily


If you see a lily growing on the roadside at this time of year there is a good chance it will be a Formosa Lily (Lilium formosanum).

Originally from Taiwan it would have been introduced as an ornamental plant.  

Regrettably, it likes in here and finds it easy to reproduce so it can become a pest pushing out native plants.

Ray White Canungra

The Formosa Lily grows to a height of one to two metres and has an annual flowering stalk.  The flower has a typical trumpet shape of a lily, is white inside with a pink, purple or brownish tint on the outside.  It flowers in summer and is fragrant.  

The flowers produce capsules with hundreds of flat disc shaped seeds.  The plant also has an underground bulb that looks a bit like garlic.

Through the bulb and seed it can reproduce quickly.

A small infestation can be controlled manually.  It is important that the whole bulb is removed as it can reproduce from part of a bulb.

Larger infestations will be easier to manage with herbicide.  Glyphosate-based products such as Roundup may not be effective at getting rid of the bulb.  

A herbicide called Metsulfuron-Methyl is recommended and you may need to go to a produce store to get it.

Better still, don’t put this lily in your garden.  If you can’t resist its attractive shape keep it in a pot and don’t let the seeds escape into the environment.