Rhododendron of Mt Paektu

February 23, 2023

Rhododendron of Mt Paektu is an evergreen bush belonging to Ericaceae.

It is also called yellow rhododendron and yellow Patrina villosa.

It is called manbyongcho in Korean, meaning a herb curing all kinds of diseases.

The plant with beautiful flowers is very viable and grows in cold areas. And it produces flowers even in snow to add beauty to alpine landscape.

It grows 20 or 50 centimeters tall and the prostrate stems spread out in large numbers.

The sap of rhododendron begins to rise in the plant in mid-February and it comes into bud and flowers from March. Light yellow flowers bloom at the edges of stems. The calyx is very small, the corolla is in the shape of a bell with its end part split into five directions. The floral buds that appear in a year bloom at a temperature higher than 0°C consuming their stored substances in the following year. The leaves are oval and their edges bend backward to form the shape of a cylinder so as to prevent the evaporation of their absorbed humidity and preserve nutritive substances. The leaves are thick and leathery. The fruit is also oval with brown hairs on it.

The plant can be multiplied by separating the roots or from seed. The leaves contain andromedotoxin, flavonoid, ursolic acid and so on. It is raised as an ornamental plant and its leaves are used as antihypertensive and antiphlogistic.

People eat the decoction of the leaves for arthritis, articular edema and neuralgia. The plant adds beauty to the natural scenery of Mt Paektu and is of great academic significance in studying the characteristics of rhododendron group.

The rhododendron of Mt Paektu was designated as a natural monument and is under special protection.



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