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Nature You Meet in the Mountains #29

Flora & Fauna of Korea #29

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: 어리광대거품벌레, Clown Bubble Insect
Scientific name: Philaronia nigrifrons Matsumura
Distribution: Korea, Japan

This spittlebug is a member of the homoptera order. The males are about 5 to 5.8 millimeters long and the females average 6.8 millimeters in length. Its noticeable feature is the black pattern evident on its back, alternating with areas of light yellow and lemon yellow. The head is relatively small and the back is flat. The back of the anterior thorax is light yellow and has two brown horizontal stripes. The tergite stands out a bit toward the front and the edges of the two sides are almost parallel. The antenna are short. The anterior wings have black brown horizontal stripes and a lemon yellow base. Toward the front of the wings, there are dorsal mesoscutum, while large stripes develop on the rear of the wings. The legs are yellow or greenish yellow. The tip of the pastern joint is blackish brown. The thigh knuckle of the posterior legs have two thorns at the tip.

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Trees

Name: 소사나무 Sosanamu, the Korean hornbeam
Scientific name: Carpinus turczaninovii Hance
Type: deciduous broadleaf shrub
Blooming season: April to May
Bearing season: September to October
Distribution: beaches along the central and southern parts of Gyeonggi Province

Most hornbeams are found along the beachside. The twigs and the leafstalk are covered in thick hairs. The leaves alternate, and are shaped like an oval. The leaf apex is either tapered or obtuse. The edges are double-serrated. The veins along the underside of the leaves are covered in a thick fur. This monoecious tree gives bloom to unisex flowers. It bears an oval nut, its "fruit," and has dropping catkins.

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Mushrooms

Name: 벽돌빛버섯, the Brick-colored Mushroom
Scientific name: Heterobasidion inqulare (Murrill) Ryvarden
Type: saprophile spore
Print: white
Inedible

This mushroom can be found in clusters on either conifers or on the stumps and the base of old or dead trees. A certain virus causes white rot in the fungus. The cap is about 2 to 6 centimeters long and 1 to 1.5 centimeters thick. The shape ranges from a half circle to broken rounds. The surface is white to yellowish white when it's young and gradually turns yellowish brown and reddish brown as it ages. Some vague ring-streaked patterns are arranged radially on the pileus. The tissue is yellowish white and coriaceous. The underside is white. There are an average of three pores per square millimeter on the underside, each of which is a centimeter deep and is round.

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Herbs & Flowers

Name: 모데미풀, Modemipul
Scientific name: Megaleranthis saniculifolia Ohwi
Full bloom: April to May
Distribution: high mountains, such as the Sobaeksan and Taebaeksan Mountains

This perennial grows on the mountainside. It is normally 20 to 40 centimeters tall. The plants grow after the flowers bloom. It looks like the palm of a hand. It develops trifoliate leaves from the tip of the leaf stalk, and they are separated again into two to three leaf-like parts. The edges have a pointed sawtooth edge. The sepal looks like petals. It is white and separated into five petals. When in season, it bears a central follicle which opens all the petals to expose the seeds within.

*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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