Native Plants in Korea
North Korea has a temperate but varied climate with warm summers and winters that are cold and dry. The landscape rises from the sea to the height of the Paektu-san Mountain, 9,000 feet above sea level. This variety of terrain gives rise to a rich assortment of native plants, which give the North Korean landscape its own distinctive appearance.
Known as the Korean or Japanese chestnut, the Castanea crenata is a native Korean plant that has been used by residents of Eastern Asia for a variety of purposes. Its nuts provide starch, its wood is strong and light, and tannins from the fruit and bark can be used as a dye. The Castanea crenata lives in the foothills and grows well in wide varieties of soil.
The Iris odasensis is one of several species of Iris that inhabit Korea. This native Korean plant has bright white flowers somewhat evocative of paper snowflakes, with symmetrical yellow markings on the petals. The Iris odaesanensis blooms from July to August, and tolerates a wide variety of light levels, from moderate shade to six hours of sun per day.
Clematis chiisanensis is a species of flowering climbing vine native to South Korea. This plant puts out hanging flowers that range in colors from yellow to red in the summer. If the plant is carefully pruned after the first flowers die, it can be kept in bloom for the entire summer and into the fall. Clematis chiisanensis is a perennial native Korean plant, and puts out attractive seed pods in the fall, which rival the beauty of the flowers themselves.