National Flower: Mugunghwa (무궁화)

With so many flowers and trees now in bloom, I thought it seemed the right time to post about the national flower of Korea–mugunghwa, aka Rose of Sharon, aka hibisus syriacus.

In Korean, mugunghwa means “immortal flower.” The flower’s tenaciousness, seen it’s ability to survive even insect attacks, makes it an appropriate symbol for country that has fought throughout history for it’s very existence. Despite wars and occupation, the Korean culture and people have persevered and endured.

 The first record of the mugunghwa in Korea is made in the article thought to be produced some 1,400 years ago. The name mugungwha was first used by the poet Lee Kyu-Bo (이규보, 1168∼1241) of Koryo Dynasty.

Mugunghwa shrubs bloom in late summer through mid-autumn.

(Information for this post was gathered from www.visitkorea.or.kr/ena/AK/AK_EN_1_4_1.jsp and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_of_Sharon.)

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2 thoughts on “National Flower: Mugunghwa (무궁화)

  1. According to the book “Home was the land of Morning Calm” by K. Connie Kang, on page 49, the author talks about how even Korean flowers were not immune from being destroyed during Japanese colonization, specifically the rose of sharon. Koreans were forced to dig up the roses and replace them with cherry trees (symbol of Japan). To secretly rescue the flowers was patriotic because replanting it near one’s house was a great risk to the family. Ok-Gil Kim (a woman who later became president of Korea’s most prestigious women’s university) is remembered for doing this act and for replanting the roses in her alma mater after colonization was over.

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