Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of Sarah Newman.

Formosa lily

Scientific name
Lilium formosanum
Plant Family
Plant Group
A tall herbaceous perennial with stiffly upright stalks with narrow, lanceolate leaves arranged in a spiral around the stems. The stalks are topped with long white trumpet flowers and followed by upright green, becoming brown seed pods.
Identification Hints

Formosa lily is a native of Taiwan with usually 1 to 3 stems arising from each bulb. The 4 to 7 ft stalks carry 8" lanceolate leaves in a spiral arrangement up the entire stem and are topped in summer with 1 to 10, long (8 to 12 in), fragrant, outward-facing, white trumpet flowers often with a purple streak on the exterior of each of the 6, thick textured petals. The seed pods which follow the flowers are 4 to 6" long green capsules which become stiffly upright as they dry and become brown.

Did You Know?

The Formosa lily has 2 distinct forms, the typical tall form which grows to 7 ft tall and a dwarf form which is only found at high elevations. If the dwarf form is brought to lower elevations, it will still only grow to about 1/3 of the height of the typical form and flower about1 month earlier. These adaptations help it to survive the harsh conditions and shorter growing seasons it experiences on exposed mountain tops.