Botanical Name: Lunaria annua
Species: L. annua
Common Names: Honesty, Annual honesty, Moonwort, Money Plant
(The Latin name lunaria means “moon-shaped” and refers to the shape and appearance of the seedpods. The common name “honesty” arose in the 16th century, and may also relate to the translucence of the seedpods. In South East Asia, it is called the “money plant” and in the United States it is commonly known as “silver dollars”, “Chinese money”, or “Chinese coins” because its seedpods have the appearance of silvery coins. For the same reason, in French it is known as monnaie du pape (“Pope’s money”). In Denmark it is known as judaspenge and in Dutch-speaking countries as judaspenning (both meaning “coins of Judas”), an allusion to the story of Judas Iscariot and the thirty pieces of silver he was paid for betraying Christ)
Habitat: Honesty is native to the Balkans and south west Asia, and naturalized throughout the temperate world.It grows on Flower beds and naturalised along paths, field edges, hedgerows and waste ground.
It is an annual or biennial growing to 90 cm (35 in) tall by 30 cm (12 in) broad, with large, coarse, pointed oval leaves with marked serrations. The leaves are hairy, the lower ones long-stalked, the upper ones stalkless.Ovate with a pointed end and marked serrations along the edge of the leaf. In spring and summer it bears terminal racemes of white or violet flowers, followed by showy, light brown, translucent, disc-shaped seedpods (silicles) the skin of which falls off to release the seeds, revealing a central membrane which is white with a silvery sheen, 3–8 cm (1–3 in) in diameter; they persist on the plant through winter. These pods are much used in dry floral arrangements.
Smell: When flowering the plant has a floral fragrance.
Taste: Honesty has a cabbage like taste in both the leaves and flowers.
The seeds taste like mustard.
This plant is easy to grow from seed and tends to naturalize. It is usually grown as a biennial, being sown one year to flower the next. It is suitable for cultivation in a shady or dappled area, or in a wildflower garden, and the flowers and dried seedpods are often seen in flower arrangements. Numerous varieties and cultivars are available, of which the white-flowered L. annua var. albiflora and the variegated white L. alba var. albiflora ‘Alba Variegata’ have won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Medicinal Uses: A fatty acid obtained from the seeds has been used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis
Other Facts: The dried seed pods are often used in flower arranging due to their silver, coin like appearance.
The beautiful seed pods used to be used by Victorians to paint intricate scenes on.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.