A guide to spring blossom hunting

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A guide to spring blossom hunting

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To see the best that Korea has to offer in springtime blossoms, it’s necessary to travel around the country - on a precise schedule.

The ginger plant has a different flowering time depending on the location in Korea. The plant, which earned its name from its ginger-like fragrance, shows its yellow flowers around Mount Gaya National Park in South Gyeongsang in early April. But it blooms later in April in Mount Jiri National Park, which extends along South and North Jeolla and South Gyeongsang provinces. The peak time at Mount Jiri is mid-April.

The Korea National Park Service released Friday precise data for the flowering times in spring of a range of plants. The service provided information on species, flowering times and the best places to view them.

According to the service, its timetable for the spring flowers was created by using last year’s data and site surveys by park authority staffers from around the country.

Maritime national parks, which contain islands and coastal areas, are where visitors can see the earliest flowering, according to the park service.

Camellias have already bloomed on four islands in the southern part of Korea: Jisim Island and Nae Island in Hallyeohaesang National Park, which extends from South Gyeongsang to South Jeolla, and Geomun Island and Bogil Island of Dadohaehaesang National Park, South Jeolla.

At the end of March, flower watchers will be able to see the blossoming of Korean winter hazel, a rare species, in Mount Jiri National Park. The species was designated as being endangered in 2005, but the designation was lifted after it was planted in more areas.

In early April, a 66,000-square meter (16-acre) field on Gwanmae Island in Dadohaehaesang National Park will be filled with rapeseed flowers. At the same time, yellow Sansuyu will be seen in Mount Jiri in Jeolla and red-colored cherry blossoms in Mount Gyeryong National Park in South Chungcheong.

The park service stressed that tourists must not pick the flowers. Under current law, any plant collection within national parks without approval from the authorities is liable to a maximum prison term of three years or maximum fine of 30 million won ($ 26,000).

Meanwhile, the Korea Meteorological Administration said the weather will be sunny around the country this weekend. It said while the highest degree on Saturday would be 23 degree Celsius, Sunday will be a little cold with winds in Seoul and Gyeonggi. The air will be dusty in the capital region.

BY KIM HAN-BYUL [nam.yoonseo@joongang.co.kr]

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