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Formosa Lily


General description

Perennial herb. Stem is erect, unbranched and < 1 m tall. Leaves are < 13 cm long. Flowers are large, trumpet-like, white/purple and mainly borne in January – March. Seed capsules are < 9 x 2 cm, cylindrical, mainly produced in February – April, and contain winged seeds.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell Formosa lily. As Formosa lily is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant Formosa lily within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any Formosa lily on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.
Transport corridor operators must destroy all Formosa lily before it sets seed on any transport land that is located within the buffer area of a park where Formosa lily is being managed. View a map of park buffers where this applies.

To find out more about how we’re protecting Auckland’s parkland from pest plants, visit our pest plant buffer pages.

Coastal areas, sand dunes, cliffs, scrub, disturbed areas, roadsides, pasture, track sides, open canopies.

Seeds dispersed by wind and water. Vegetative spread from bulbs. Human-mediated dispersal through accidental transport and deliberate plantings.

Forms dense stands. Competes with native plant species such as harakeke.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds and bulbs

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMP status

National Pest Plant Accord Species
Parkland with Significant Ecological Areas (Site-led)
Whole region (Sustained Control)
Formosa lily - Main species image