Thursday, 14 November 2013

Flowers of the faeries - Faery Lanterns - to light you through the dark side .....

     In the Northern Hemisphere, faere-folk and mortals both are well into the dark side of the year. Night begins to fall early and seeing patches of  Physalis  Alkekengii  glowing burnt-orange beside my path reminds me of faerie journeys through winter forests.

       Physalis  Alkekengii  is the name for the magical plant with seed heads that we all know as Faery Lanterns, or Chinese Lanterns, and harvested assiduously by all kinds of Magicks when they can find them.  Simply sprinkled with a pinch of wing-dust , tapped with a full-moon wand and charged with an infinitesimal incantation, the lantern will kindle to make your way safe.

      Here below, I would like to share with you a very few of my collection of faery-lantern pictures - from books, prints and postcards, these are some of my favourites ......

From 'The Legend of Tipperary' - artist,Mabel Lucie Attwell

From 'The Bee Who Would not Work' by Charlotte Herr
Illustrated by Francis Beem. Pub: Volland 1913

'Elfin Lamp Lighters' - artist Rene Cloke

By Arthur Rackham, from 'Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens' 1906

From 'Flower Fairies' by Clare Ingram
Illustrated by Maginel Wright Enright,         Pub: Judson, Rand McNally & Co 1915

'Starlight' a postcard illustration by Margaret Tarrant. Pub: Medici

      Should you be able to pick your lanterns for decoration before the Magicks steal them away, remember that, although the orange fruits inside are packed full of vitamin C, the other parts of the plant are poisonous. Perhaps, as with so many magical plants - you would do better after all to 'leave them to the faeries.'  Just look at the joy those lanterns bring!


imogen said...

Thank you - what a lovely way of drawing together those illustrations! Quite enchanting. I keep meaning to grow faery lanterns in my own garden (although I knew them formerly as Chinese lanterns, I see now that faery is a much more appropriate name for these lands!) and now I am resolved to get some seeds for next year.

Muddypond Green said...

Hello fair lady - I am glad to know that you love them too. Yes, grow some if you can - after a while in the elements the little skeleton lanterns with the single orange berry inside are perfect too!