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Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Japanese invaders colonise Dokdo

This month’s magazine features Dokdo, but in cataloguing the island’s human and plant inhabitants, the magazine reveals five species with suspiciously Japanese-sounding names that have a firm foothold on the Korean islands.

Euonymus japonicus Thunb.
A colony of Euonymus japonicus Thunb. can be found on Dokdo. Photo © Henriette Kress,

In the plant world, there’s Artemisia japonica var. macrocephala Pampan and Rumex japonicus Houttuyn (both ominously said to be “spreading quickly these days”) and the Euonymus japonicus Thunb. (spindle trees), of which a “colony … can be observed on the north slope of Cheonjanggul on Dongdo”. Meanwhile below the waterline anenomes and barnacles such as Anthopleura japonica and Tetraclita japonica Pilsbry can be found. Should Dokdo be petitioning the Linnean Society to have all these species renamed Koreanus?

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