Hanson’s Lily

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Seong-In Bong Nali, Seom-mal Nali

Seong-In Bong Nali, Lilium Hansonii Lilium Hansonii, commonly referred as Hanson’s Lily after Danish-American landscape artist Peter Hanson, is also known as Seong-In Bong Nali in Ulleung-do and is more commonly referred to as Seom-mal Nali. Hanson’s Lily can grow up to 50 – 100 cm tall and have many leaves along its stem. Hanson’s Lilies bloom earlier than other varieties, between June and July, with six to seven downward-pointing flowers. The flowers are of a yellow color with a reddish tint, and are sprinkled with dark amber freckles. In September, the lilies bear fruit. The roots and stem are in oval shape with a slightly red hue. These lilies grow naturally on Ulleung-do Island and are perennial. They are found shaded by dense deciduous trees along slopes. Ulleung-do Island, which had been vacant due to a government policy, saw its first modern settlers arrive at the Nali Basin in 1882. Since this time, people in the region have survived eating the roots of Hanson’s lily. Young sprouts can also be boiled and prepared as side dishes or can be ground up and used with the roots for medicinal purposes. Today, the plant is rarely consumed, but there is a push for a restoration of Ulleung-do Island’s traditional food culture and so the roots and sprouts of the lily can be found in certain restaurants, usually in Bibimbap. In 1997, the Korea Forest Service added Hanson’s Lily to the rare and endangered species list, and made its collection from the wild illegal. The limited habitat of Hanson’s Lily makes it even more crucial for a proper conservation of both the lily and its habitat as things like overfishing may speed its decline. This wild lily variety has a difficult reproductive cycle. After seeds are sown it takes two to three years for germination, and it is difficult for germinated seeds to reach the flowering cycle. In 2004, Ulleung County designated approximately 1650 square meters specifically for the restoration of Hanson’s Lilies. Since 2007, the Kyungpook University Lilium Hansonii Research Division has been studying the ecology of Hanson’s Lily and preparing the necessary framework for its breeding through the mapping of chromosomes. Since 2010, Ulleunggun Agriculture Technology Center’s plant tissue culture laboratory has been and currently is cultivating 30,000 lilies, and in 2011 the lab planted an additional 10,000 lily seeds.

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StateSouth Korea