Taxonomic status of endemic plants in Korea

Kun Ok Kim, Sun Hee Hong, Yong Ho Lee, Chae Sun Na, Byeung Hoa Kang, Yowhan Son

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Disagreement among the various publications providing lists of Korean endemic plants makes confusion inevitable. We summarized the six previous reports providing comprehensive lists of endemic plants in Korea: 407 taxa in Lee (1982), 570 taxa in Paik (1994), 759 taxa in Kim (2004), 328 taxa in Korea National Arboretum (2005), 515 taxa in the Ministry of Environment (2005) and 289 taxa in Flora of Korea Editorial Committee (2007). The total number of endemic plants described in the previous reports was 970 taxa, including 89 families, 302 genera, 496 species, 3 subspecies, 218 varieties, and 253 formae. Endemic plants listed four times or more were collected to compare the data in terms of scientific names and synonyms (339 taxa in 59 families and 155 genera). If the varieties and formae were excluded, the resulting number of endemic plants was 252 taxa for the 339 purported taxa analyzed. Seven of the 155 genera analyzed were Korean endemic genera. Among the 339 taxa, the same scientific names were used in the original publications for 256 taxa (76%), while different scientific names were used for 83 taxa (24%). The four largest families were Compositae (42 taxa, 12.4%), Ranunculaceae (19 taxa, 5.6%), Rosaceae (19 taxa, 5.6%), and Scrophulariaceae (19 taxa, 5.6%). Saussurea (Compositae) had the highest number of taxa within one genus (17 taxa; 5% of total endemic taxa).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-293
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Ecology and Field Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Endemic plant
  • Korean endemic genus
  • Korean endemic plant
  • Taxonomic composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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