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Lilium formosanum

Pronunciation: Lil-ee-um for-moh-sa-num
Family: Liliaceae (lily family
Common Name: Formosa lily, august lily, taiwan lily, philippine lily,
Plant Type:
  • perennial
  • bulb, tuber, corm
Height to: 6-7'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid summer
  • late summer
  • early autumn
Bloom Description: At the top of the stem, and causing it to be top-heavy to the point of falling over, stands one, two, or a cluster (umbel) of as many as ten, trumpet shaped white flowers, each 5-8 in (12-20 cm) long. The flowers gaze outward and (like all lilies) have six tepals (three petals and three similar looking sepals). The fragrant flowers, with their reflexed tepals, often flushed with purple, last for several days and each ultimately gives rise to a 3-celled capsule, 3-4 in (7-9 cm) long, with numerous little flat seeds packed two rows per cell.
Soil Type: August, or formosa lily likes a moist, acidic soil.
Plant Perks:
  • Fragrant
  • Cut Flower
Propagation: After the stems have died back in winter, lift and carefully divide the bulbs by hand. In the south, you can usually get 2-3 new bulbs from the original each year. Plant bulbs at a depth 2-3 times their height. Sow seeds shallowly as soon as ripe.
Native to: Lilium formosanum is native to the island of taiwan (formerly called formosa). It supposedly was first found growing on mt. Morrison on that politically contested island.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - elegant august lilies are a beautiful sight in late summer when it's so hot you don't even want to go outside during the middle of the day. These big white beauties bloom right through the scorchers and even smell sweet while they do it! I grow august lilies with several kinds of small palms in my "spikey" garden. With their bristle-like linear leaves all along their tall stems, they fit right in. Plant some august lilies along a fence where you can tie them up when they start to fall over, fragrant formosa lily flowers last for days in a vase of water, and buds that aren't quite open will continue to open as though they were still in the garden. Don't cut more of the stem then you need, because the green stem and its leaves are producing food for storage in the bulb for next year's flowers. And don't cut the stems down in autumn until they have turned brown. Xare: formosa lily is, unfortunately, susceptible to lily mosaic virus which causes yellow splotches on the leaves and can kill the plant within a year. The virus is spread between plants by aphids, and there is no known cure. If yours die suddenly, get new bulbs from a clean source and replant in a different area.
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