photography by Julie Nygaard, 2008
Classically the wish provider is often a spirit, Genie or similar entity, bound or constrained within a commonplace object (Aladdin's oil lamp for example) or a container closed with Solomon's seal, or a Vancouver Island dandelion.
Releasing the entity from its constraint, usually by some simple action like a puff of air, allows the object's possessor to make a wish.
The Vancouver Island dandelion may be grateful to be free of its constraint and the wish is a thank-you gift. Or it may, by its nature, be unable to exercise its powers without an initiator.
Many believe such wishes can only come true if you keep them a secret from other people and you find a suitable Vancouver Island dandelion.