Have you ever seen a Chinese Lantern flower? It looks exactly like a miniature paper lantern. After all that’s where it name comes from. We have been wondering if the paper creations inspired its name or someone was inspired by these same flowers when making the first lantern. This flower has many names – Physalis alkekengi, Japanese lantern, Winter cherry, Bladder cherry and is a distant relative of the Cape Gooseberry flower. The flower originates from southern Europe and spreads across southern Asia up to Japan. Its flowers are white, but when they mature they turn into orange papery covering, that protect the fruit inside. This flower not only has the shape of a lantern, but also the most popular color of lanterns – red-orange. This makes it an ornamental plant as well. It is exquisite, interesting and brings a certain warmth into the room with its orange leaves. The fruits of this flower are used as food and as medicine. The dried fruit is given to patients with liver problems. It is also used as a sedative, antiseptic and diuretic. The lantern flower fruit has antibacterial qualities as well. In Japan, people use its seeds to guide the souls of people who have passed away in the Bon Festival. Around the 10-11 July there is an annual market for this flower in Japan.
Nature has given people inspiration for so many wonderful inventions. This flower has probably inspired the Chinese lantern. Call us and order one of those interesting nature inspired creations.