Bijanamu (Nutmeg Tree) in Byeongyeong-myeon

Bijanamu (Nutmeg Tree) in Byeongyeong-myeon
  • Item : Natural Monument No 39
  • Quantity and Volume : one, 2,248㎡
  • Designated Day : 1962. 12.03
  • Site : 35,376, Samin-ri, Byeongyeong-myeon, Gangjin-gun, Jeollanam-do
  • Maintaining Agency : Gangjin-gun

Nutmeg trees inhabit in the south of Naesangsan (Mt.) in Korea and Japan. For the beautiful figure of the tree, it is usually used as an ornamental tree, its fruit is used as an vermicide, a stool softener pill or oil.

The nutmeg tree in Byeongyeong-myeon is estimated to be about 500 years old and 11.5m in height and 5.8m in girth. It is divided into four branches at around 1.5m high from the ground. There are two opinions about why the tree has been able to avoid cutting down for over 500 years. One is although most useful trees were cut to build Jeollabyeongmajeoldosayeong (military headquarter buildings for Jeolla arms and war horses) in 17th year of Taejong (King, 1417), this tree was not cut because it was too small and bent to be used as wood for construction and so it could survive. The other is as its fruit was the only vermicide at that time, inhabitants had to protect it.

Since inhabitants of that village have considered it as a guardian deity, they have prayed for peace of the village going around it on every January 15th (a full moon day) of the lunar calendar. It is also a place to rest and cool down the heat in summer. As the nutmeg tree in Byeongyeong-myeon is very valuable as historical and cultural material which has been looked after by the village inhabitants for a long time, it is designated and protected as a Natural Monument.

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