The more than one hundred countries of the world all have their own national flowers.
Each country chooses a national flower that is especially beautiful, of which its people are fond, and which relates to the features and culture of the country, its legends and traditional life style and its customs; the economic value of the flower and its symbolic meaning are also taken into consideration.
Some countries choose such lovely national flowers as the mume, carnation, rose or tulip; others worship the lotus that grows in ponds as a sacred flower, and yet others make their national flowers the red chile-bells belonging to the Liliaceae family so that they will remember for ever the blood shed by their people in the war for independence.
Korean national flower is Magnolia Sieboldii.
In its full shape and beauty, magnolia symbolizes the national character and mettle of the resourceful and indomitable Korean people.
Magnolia Sieboldii–Korean Species
Magnolia is a deciduous, broad-leaved tree belonging to the Magnoliaceae family. It is a Korean species which has been propagated in wide areas of the country from ancient times and has existed throughout the time-honoured history of our nation.
It grows thickly in all areas that are at a lower altitude than 1,400 metres, so excluding the mountainous regions of such northern areas of Korea as Jagang and Ryanggang Provinces.
In particular, it thrives at the foot of mountains of such areas as Kangwon, North and South Phyongan and South Hamgyong Provinces.
It also grows naturally in some areas of northeast China and Japan. But, the Korean peninsula is the original centre of the worldwide distribution of the tree.
Magnolia grows well in places where the average annual temperature is 8-10 degrees C., with the minimum temperature being 30 degrees C. below zero and the maximum, 33 degrees C.
It requires good soil and humidity for growing; it does not grow well in extremely dry soil or in standing water.
It grows well in loamy sand which is half in shadow and contains a great deal of nutrients and a reasonable amount of moisture, as well as in clayey loam mixed with some gravel.
Many shoots grow from the crown of the root of magnolia. There, if left alone, it forms a cluster like shrubs.
Its roots do not grow deep, the main part generally going down to some 40 centimetres below ground level; it has a small number of straight roots and many lateral roots and fibrous roots.
Magnolia is extremely resistant to the cold and to damage by blight and harmful insects.
Based on: FLPH - Magnolia Sieboldii, Korea's National Flower