Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting

Nature (general)

Korean pine

When I was walking at an altitude of about 1000m in the Japanese Alps, I found a pine cone that I had never seen before. Later I found that this is the Korean pine.

The scientific name is Pinus koraiensis. The reason I was not familiar with this was that it is neither in western Japan (*1) nor in Hokkaido. It is distributed only in the central part of Honshu.

However, they say it can be seen also in the Eurasian continent, such as Korean Peninsula northeastern China and the Russian Far East. There are some insects with the same distribution pattern. It seems that they are survivors of a somewhat old age.

I heard that there is a butterfly species which larvae feed on the leaves of this pine species in the continent. The butterflies may have also been in Japan in the past.

Thinking of the transition history of the of living things is interesting.

*1 One small population of the Korean pine is known in Shikoku.


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