Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting

History Nature (general)

The queen of the alpine plants Dicentra peregrina “komakusa 駒草”

The pretty flowers of alpine plants heal the hearts of climbers. I want them to stay there forever. However, there are bad people who steal and take them. Dicentra peregrina , which is called as the queen of alpine plants in Japan, is already gone in the Central Alps. This plant is a herb of an alpine butterfly, Parnassius eversmanni. It lives widely in the cold lands around the Arctic region. Its distribution extends to the high altitude areas of Mt. Daisetsu, Hokkaido.

Regarding the origin of the Japanese name of Dicentra peregrina “komakusa”, the established theory is that this flower resembles the face of a foal. So they say that Koma means a foal and Kusa means a grass. However, I have a doubt about this and think that “koma” is the old name for mountains because there are many mountains with the word “koma” such as Mt. Koma-ga-take and Mt. Ikoma in various parts of Japan.

I would like to clarify this as well as the origin of the place name in Osaka someday.

Dicentra peregrina taken by myself in a mountain called Upepesanke in Hokkaido in 2009. I do not recommend climbing here to see one, because it’s very far and there are big and fierce bears.


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