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Lantern Plant
A gnarled, bonsai-like potted plant with ivy-like reddish-green leaves.

It produces large, trumpet-like flowers that are transparent, hard as glass and point upwards. At the bottom of the flower a series of glands produce a flammable liquid, not unlike kerosene. A long, spongy stamen can be set alight and used as a wick.

The plant's use as a lantern (for example at parties) is essential in its reproduction cycle; the heat from the burning lamp triggers seed dispersion, and the thermal convection sends the seeds soaring into the air.

The glass-bulb flowers is formed using a series of genes from terrestrial plants of the genus Graminacae, which naturally deposits silica crystals on the edges of their leaves.
 
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Development Notes
Text by David Hallberg

Initially published on 18 November 2003.

 
 
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