Vegetation and flora of Hibiscus hamabo inhabited naturally in Soan Island

  • Ahn, Young-Hee (Division of Biological Science and Resources, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Chung, Kyu-Hwan (Division of Biological Science and Resources, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Park, Hee-Seung (Division of Biological Science and Resources, Chung-Ang University)
  • Published : 2003.11.01


Hibiscus hamabo, called "Hwang-geun", growing about 3m in height is a deciduous shrub or subtree of Malvaceae. Because the number of these species is very limited in the world, the Ministry of Environment has designated H. hamabo as a preserved plant. The Korea Forest Service also protects it strictly by law since H. hamabo is an out-of-the-way plant and possibly may be exterminated soon in Korea. Investigation for distribution and ecological characteristics of the habitat for H. hamabo was carried out on Soan Island. Two wild H. hamabo were found at the forest edge (equation omitted) along the sea coast located in the southern part of Soan Island and this was the first report in the Korean academic world. These two wild H. hamabos were growing in a naturally inhibited area. The diameters at the base were 12cm and 15cm. The Tree heights were 150cm and 210cm and the number of branches of each wild H. hamabo was 4 and 7. However, the present condition of these plants was not good. Environmental conditions of the naturally inhibited area of H. hamabo were very mild because it is located at the edge of the forest and is always sunny during the daytime since the slope of the inhibited area is facing South. The ground drained very well since the soil was made of gravels and sand. Because the percent of vegetation of the subtree layer where H. hamabo was growing was 40%, the cover degree and sociability of flex crenata trees and Eurya japonica were found to be high. In the naturally inhibited area of H. hamabo, a dominant value of Rubus parvifolius in the lower part of the herb layer was very high and many plants in Compositae, such as Artemisia princeps var. orientalis and Erigeron annuus, were also present. A dominant value of liana, such as Vitis thunbergii var. sinuata, Rosa multiflora, Clematis terniflora and Hedera rhombea, and Gramineae plants that rhizomes were well developed and aggressively propagated, such as Miscanthus sinensis var. purpurascens, Phragmites communis, Spodiopogon cotulifer and Oplismenus undulatifolius which were surveyed as high, too. These results imply that H. hamabo might be exterminated soon through a natural selection if the proper management of the naturally inhibited area of H. hamabo is not conducted continually.


  1. Distribution maps of vascular plants in Korea Oh,S.Y.;J.H.Kim
  2. Illustrated Flora of Korea Lee,T.B.
  3. Useful plants ofj the world Hotta,M.
  4. Illustrated rare and endangered species in Korea Korea Forest Service
  5. An Environmental White Paper Ministry of Environment
  6. Kor. J. Env. Sci. v.12 Native Cornus Kousa community and its habitat in Jeju Island Ahn,Y.H.;K.K.Shim
  7. Kor. J. Env. Eco. v.13 no.3 Studies on characteristics of Adonis amurensis native to South Korea Ahn,Y.H.;K.H.Chung
  8. Kor. J. Env. Sci. v.11 Ecologicaal characteristics ofj areas naturally inhabited by Pyrus pyrifolia on Mt. Kaya Ahn,Y.H.;K.H.Chung
  9. Kor. J. Hort. Sci. & Technol. v.20 Ecological characteristics and distribution of Korean native Rhapontica uniflora at habitats Ahn ,Y.H.;K.Y.Choi
  10. Plant Res. v.4 no.3 Ecological characteristics and distribution of plant resources of Pyrus and Malus sp. in Jindong vally Ahn,Y.H.;K.H.Chung;K.Y.Choi;D.S.Park
  11. Kor, J. Env. Eco. v.16 no.2 Pohytosociological study on compositiion, distribution and habitat ofj Ussurian Pear and Chinese Pear, Korean wild species Song,:J.S.;Y.H.Ahn
  12. Grundzude der Vegetationskunde, (3rd ed.) Pflazensoziologie Braun-Blanquet,J.
  13. Manual of ecological research Ecology research group
  14. Distribution of plant community and environment Ishitsuka,K.O.
  15. Climate diagram maps Walter,H.;E.Harnickell;D.M.Dombois
  16. Plant geography Lee,W.C.;Y.J.Yim
  17. Terrestrial plant ecology Barbour,M.G.;J.H.Burk;W.D.Pitts
  18. A cyclopedia of useful plants and plant products Shibata,K.
  19. Functional Ecology v.3 Infiltration invasion Wilson,J.B.;G.W.Lee