Chinese lantern, noun phrase

Origin:
EnglishShow more Transferred use of English Chinese lantern a name for the plant Physalis alkekengi; so called from shape and arrangement of flowers or fruits (see quotations 1966 and 1984).
Frequently also Chinese lanterns used with singular force.
1. The plant Sandersonia aurantiaca of the Liliaceae. Occasionally in the phrase Chinese lantern lily.
1917 R. Marloth Dict. of Common Names of Plants 19Chinese lantern lily, Sandersonia aurantiaca. Eastern district.
c1968 S. Candy Natal Coast Gardening 73Sandersonia aurantiaca,..‘Chinese Lanterns’...The lovely, hanging, 1-inch golden bells are constricted at the mouth to give the ‘lantern’ shape.
1975 J.M. Gibson Wild Flowers of Natal 5Sandersonia aurantiaca Hook, (Chinese Lantern)...This flower has become so rare because Africans used to pick it for sale, as it lasted for so long.
2.
a. Occasionally in the phrase Chinese lantern tree:
i. The klapperbos (see klapper noun2 sense 2), Nymania capensis of the Meliaceae. See also sense 2 b.
1917 R. Marloth Dict. of Common Names of Plants 19Chinese lantern, Nymania capensis. The inflated capsules generally red.
1931 Nat. Geog. Mag. Apr. 408Our road thither led us past avenues of mammoth cactus and through rocky remotenesses where bloomed the klapperbos, or Chinese lantern tree.
1961 Palmer & Pitman Trees of S. Afr. 279Passing through the Karroo in spring, travellers often pause in astonishment at splashes of pure and vivid colour...This is the famous klapper or Chinese lanterns, Nymania Capensis...The flowers..develop into inflated fruits with a papery covering like that of a large gooseberry...These fruits give the tree its common names of klapper and Chinese lanterns.
1971 M.R. Levyns in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. III. 198Chinese Lanterns,..The decorative pink fruits resemble papery lanterns.
1989 Conserva Vol.4 No.4, 22Nymania capensis, Chinese Lanterns, The seed must not be removed until the balloon-like capsule commences disintegrating.
ii. The tree Dichrostachys cinerea of the Mimosaceae.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 191Chinese lantern tree, Dichrostachys cinerea...When in full bloom the showy inflorescences resemble Chinese lanterns.
1984 J. Onderstall Tvl Lowveld & Escarpment 102Dichrostachys cinerea subp. nyassana Large-leaved Sickle Bush, Chinese Lantern Tree,..The charming pendent inflorescences..are like little Chinese Lanterns.
1987 F. Von Breitenbach Nat. List of Indigenous Trees 61Dichrostachys cinerea,...Sickle Bush,..Chinese Lanterns.
b. rare. The lantern-like fruit of the Chinese lantern tree, Nymania capensis (see sense 2 a i above).
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 191Chinese Lanterns, The fruits of Nymania capensis...The vernacular name is derived from the shape of the pendulous bladdery fruits, which are flushed pinkish-red when ripe.
The plant Sandersonia aurantiaca of the Liliaceae. Occasionally in the phrase Chinese lantern lily.
The klapperbosklappernoun2, Nymania capensis of the Meliaceae. See also 2 b.
The tree Dichrostachys cinerea of the Mimosaceae.
The lantern-like fruit of the Chinese lantern tree, Nymania capensis (see 2 a i above).

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19171989