Sunday, November 27, 2005

What is a 칠엽수(七葉樹)?

Tonight, I wanted to get out of my apartment to get some fresh air and exercise, so I decided to walk to my school. The walk takes about a hour and 15 minutes and passes through a few parks. In one of the parks I noticed a tree with a sign on it. I walked over and read the sign. It said the name of the tree was a 칠엽수. There was no English name, just the Korean name, a description, and the Latin name.

I started thinking about the Korean name, 칠엽수, and realized that it probably meant "seven leaf tree," so I looked up at the leaves still on the tree. Guess what? There were seven leaves to a stem. Here is a picture of a leaf from a 칠엽수.

I am at school now and looked up the English name for 칠엽수(七葉樹) on the Forest Korea Web site. The English name is "Japanese horse chestnut," which seems like a pretty good name. It is also called a "buckeye." Of course, none of those names describe the tree nearly as well as the Korean name, 칠엽수.

Here are the Chinese characters for 칠엽수(七葉樹):

  • 七(칠) seven
  • 葉(엽) leaf
  • 樹(수) tree

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