Title : DEFINTIVE POSTAGE STAMP(100WON)
Stamp Serial#
1893 
KPC#
376 
MICHEL#
1917 
StanGib#
Not listed 
Scott#
1841 
Date of Issue
03/05/1997 
Quantity
To be issued as required 
Denomination
100 won 
Design
Dishcloth gourd(scientific name : Luffa Cylindrica ROEM.) 
Designer
Kim, Im-yong 
Image Area
19mm*22mm 
Perforation
13 
Sheet Composition
10*10 
Paper
White unwatermarked
Print
Korea Security Printing and Minting Corporation 
Description
The Ministry of Information and Communication plans to issue new series of definitive stamps to replace old ones, which have been in uesd for some time. It is also upgrading the standards of Korean stamps. A series of ten 100-won stamps featuring insects, which were first issued on April 8, 1991, is now being replaced by a Dishcloth Gourd stamp.

The Dishcloth Gourd (Luffa cylindrica ROEM.), known as the vegetable sponge, sponge gourd luffa, or loofah, is an annual climbing vine of the gourd family. Dishcloth gourds are native to the tropical parts of Asia. Though they can be grown anywhere in Korea, the central region is the most suitable. They are also widely cultivated in Kongju, Kumsan and Ch'ongwon in Ch'ungch'ong-do, and in Hwasun in Chollanam-do.

The method of modifying the stems and other parts of the plant into tendrils for its support, and its use as food and medicine, and as an implement for washing, are explained at great length in 'The Forest Economy' by Hong Man-son, a sirhak (practical learning) scholar who served during the reign of King Sukchong of the Choson Dynasty. This is a clear indication that the dishcloth gourd has been cultivated for quite a long period of time in Korea.

The dishcloth gourd grows about 5m long. Its stems pull themselves up by coiling into branched tendrils. Its palm-shaped leaves with long petioles and pointed lobes are 13-30cm long and wide. The surface of the leaves are rough in texture and have no hair. The plant bears yellow flowers in August and September and fruit in October. The cucumber-shaped fruit is edible and greenish when young and becomes straw-colored with age. It is about 60cm long and has vertical wrinkles on its outside, and closely netted vascular bundles. When the skin, pulp, and seeds are removed, it resembles a sponge in texture and the remaining sponge-like product is used for bathing and for washing dishes. The sap of the plant, which flows in autumn fron the sections cut in the stem, is used as a skin care wash for healthy, beautiful skin. Since its broad leaves cast shadows in summer like wisteria, grapevines, and gourd vines, it is extensively grown by homeowners in their own gardens for ornamental use and to provide relief from the sun.

This new stamp featuring dishcloth gourd is designed by Kim Im-yong(Designer).