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Nature You Meet in the Mountains: Flora & Fauna of Korea #3

Flora & Fauna of Korea #3

Korea.net publishes a series of articles, “Nature You Meet in the Mountains,” about the peninsula’s mushrooms, insects, trees and herbs & flowers.

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Insects

Name: 노란실잠자리 (noran siljamjari)
Scientific name: Ceriagrion melanurum Selys
Distribution: Korea, China, Japan

This damselfly has an average body length of 22-35 millimeters and a wingspan of 15-22 millimeters. The head, back of the head and the antenna tubercle are all green and the face is yellow. The top of the forehead is green but the forehead, clypeus, and upper and lower lips are yellow. The dorsal side of the thorax is dark green while the ventral side is solid yellow. The sides of the thorax are dark green. The first to fifth parts of the abdominal segments are yellow, whereas dark yellow can be seen on the posterior end of the sixth segment and black from the seventh segment to the posterior end. It has transparent wings with dark brown wing veins and a brown pattern along the edges. The legs are all yellow.

Ecology: The Ceriagrion melanurum can be observed from the end of May until late September in flatlands, ponds and swampy areas on mountains.

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Trees

Name: 일본잎갈나무 (ilbon ipgalnamu). 낙엽송 (nakyeopsong)
Scientific name: Larix Kaempferi (Lamb.) Carriere
Type: deciduous-coniferous
Blooming season: April to May
Bearing season: September
Distribution: all across the nation

Growing deep in the mountains, the larch has an average height of 35 meters and a diameter of one meter. The tree itself has a pyramid shape. The bark is dark brown color. It has needle-like leaves that are light glaucous green in color. The leaves tend to grow from short branches in clusters. The underside of the leaves has five stomatal zones. Female trees bear a single bud at the tip of short shoots. The cones are erect and in an ovoid-conic shape. The triangular seeds have an average length of 3-4.5 millimeters.

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Mushrooms

Name: 갈색먹물버섯 (galsaek meokmul beoseot, brown ink mushroom)
Scientific name: Coprinellus micaceus (Bull.) Vilgalys, Hopple & Jacq. Johnson
Type: saprophile spore
Print: black

This edible mushroom grows in cluster on the branches of dead broad-leaved trees, stumps and buried trees. The pileus, with an average diameter of 1 to 4 centimeters, changes its shapes as it develops from egg-like at first into the shapes of bells and cones, and finally becomes flat and wide. Later, the top of the pileus spreads. The surface of the mushroom is a tan color. During the early stage, the mushroom is covered with squame which soon disappear. It has gills that change colors from white to black and then liquefy. The stalk is on average 3-8 centimeters long and 2-4 millimeters thick. It is white and empty inside.
*Note: The fruit body is only edible when it is young. It is dangerous to eat this mushroom with alcohol.

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Herbs & Flowers

Name: 속새 (soksae) horsetail
Scientific name: Equisetum Hyemale L.
Full bloom: April to June
Distribution: mountains and swampy wetlands

This perennial grows 30 to 60 centimeters high in swampy areas and wetlands. The subterranean roots spread out under the ground, branching off to come out of the earth. It has no branches. The leaf sheath encircles the stem. The tip only is black or brown. The lobe of the leaf is dull brown. The sporangium cone is formed at the top of the main culm. It has a pointy tip and changes colors from green-brown to yellow.

*This series of article about Korea’s insects, trees, mushrooms and herbs & flowers has been made possible through the cooperation of the Korea National Arboretum.

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