The peninsula of Korea is home to a number of flowering trees, shrubs and plants. Several of these flowering plants also grow well in the Western part of the world. Try a few of these plants in your garden to add a touch of home-grown Eastern beauty to your home.
Rose of Sharon
The rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is the national flower of South Korea. Known as Mugunghwa in Korea, the rose of Sharon produces lovely medium-sized flowers in July that are available in various shades of white, blue, purple, red and pink. Some varieties are bi-colored. These showy flowers last until the end of the season and grow on a medium-sized shrub that grows in a vase shape. It will grow in almost any type of soil, although it prefers moist, nutritious well-drained soil, and can tolerate partial shade.
Winter hazel (Corylopsis coreana) is native to Korea as well as China, Taiwan and Japan. This pleasant and popular shrub produces yellow, orange or red blossoms for a month or so in early spring, depending on the species. All varieties of winter hazel are easy to cultivate in acidic soil and partial shade.
Early Pink Azalea
The early pink azalea (Rhododendron mucronulatum), as its name suggests, produces white or shell pink blossoms (depending on the variety) for a few weeks in early spring. And in fall, when it is finished blooming, it sports crimson or yellow leaves. Like most rhododendrons, the early pink azalea needs acidic soil and partial shade during the hot summer months.
This species of iris is one of the most popularly cultivated Korean irises. The odaesanensis iris produces small, attractive white summer flowers with the characteristic yellow markings near the base of each petal. This plant is popular among gardeners because it is easy to cultivate even in moderately shaded areas. Also native to Korea are the Iris koreana (small yellow blossoms), Iris minutoaurea (small yellow blossoms) anad Iris setosa (small purple blossoms).
A native of South Korea, lemon bells (Clematis chiisanensis) is a perennial climbing vine that can reach up to 9 feet in height when mature. Its flowers bloom yellow if planted in full sun and a dark wine-red color if planted in partial shade. Gardeners love this plant because its foliage is not only beautiful, but if deadheaded after it blooms in May, it can be tricked into staying in bloom all season long. And in fall when the flowers are gone, the plant produces beautiful whorled white seed pods that are just as beautiful as the summer blossoms.