Honesty - Lunaria - Money Plant (Lunaria annua) Silver Dollar Moonwort Money Plant Flower
Height 2-3 ft
Lunaria annua, also called Honesty, Annual Honesty, Moonwort, Money Plant, and Silver Dollar Plant, is a species of flowering plant in the cabbage and mustard family Brassicaceae. Honesty is native to the Balkans and South-west Asia, and is widely cultivated throughout the temperate world.
Lunaria plants are classified as biennials as they form a basal rosette of leaves during its first year and purple flowers, or seed pods, emerge the following year. The iridescent "leaves" are actually seed pods called silicles. These seed pods follow the flowers.
Seed pods start out with a green outer husk, and later shed the husk along with their seeds. Great self seeder. Afterwards, the fully dried see through discs appear and are paper-like, and have a short, needle-like projection that hangs down from the bottom of each seed pod, and their sheen makes them appear as coins...hence the name 'silver dollars'.
Honesty has a cabbage like taste in both the leaves and flowers. The flowers can be added to salads. The leaves can be collected and used as a green vegetable or in salads before the flowers appear. The dried seed pods are often used in flower arranging due to their silver, coin like appearance. Purple or white cross shaped flowers grow all over the tall stems.
Seeds can be used to make a mustard substitute which is strengthened by crushing and mixing with cold water. The root can be peeled and eaten. The seeds taste like mustard. Plant lunaria in the spring after the final frost—it will grow quickly, with seedlings emerging in just 10 to 14 days.
- Sun to part shade
- Prefers well-draining evenly moist soil
- Direct sow recommended: before the flowers appear in Spring it can be easy to confuse with several other species but after the white or purple flowers bloom the plant can be identified quite easily.
- Sow the harvested seeds outdoors in spring as soon as you can work the ground, covering them lightly with soil and water.
- Spacing: 15 to 18 in apart
- Germination: about 2 weeks.
- Harvest: cut the plant off at its base -bring indoors and tie a bundle with some twine and suspend upside-down in a room with low humidity levels. The seed pods should be fully dried in about 2 to 3 weeks; the husk (green outer layer) has typically fallen off by itself, if it doesn't, gently rub it off. Requires thorough drying.
- Seed Count: 25