Dianella ensifolia

Cerulean flaxlily

Nonnative to Florida Invasive

Species Overview

Native to: Australia, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

In its native range, the cerulean flaxlily occurs in open shrubland, evergreen rainforests, wet pinelands, coastal dunes, sandbars, grasslands and open lowland forests making it versatile and able to tolerate a wide range of conditions. Likely introduced to Florida via horticulture, it was documented as having escaped cultivation as early as 1977. Its seeds have been used as a natural rodenticide and are reported to be toxic to livestock.

Species Characteristics

Family: Hemerocallidaceae

Habit: Evergreen herbaceous perennial.

Leaves: Parallel venation with finely serrated margins. The serrations may only be visible on one margin of the leaf.

Flowers: Terminal florets form a panicle which grows beyond the height of the lily by about 0.25 m. The perfect flowers have three sepals and three petals and are white with a yellowish tint.

Fruit/Seeds: Fruits are succulent, bright, violet-blue berries typically containing five shiny, black seeds.

Distribution in Florida: Hillsborough, Manatee, Highlands, Hendry, Miami-Dade counties.


It spreads vegetatively by rhizome fragments as well as seed consumed and deposited by birds. Although it has not spread rapidly throughout the state, the well documented impacts on multiple ecosystems at the Highlands Hammock State Park provides a cautionary tale and it is ranked as invasive by the UF IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants.

Control Methods

Preventive Measures

Do not plant.


Hand pull ensuring removal of all rhizome fragments.


Can be difficult to remove all rhizome fragments.


None known.


>95% control and no regrowth at six months post-treatment using 1% Habitat (imazapyr) has been documented.

Learn more about this species

Cerulean Flaxlily – An Invasive Plant in Highlands Hammock State Park

UF IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas

Atlas of Florida Plants


Florida Natural Areas Inventory