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Lunaria annua

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Also in this family:
Alpine Pennycress, Alpine Rock-cress, American Wintercress, Annual Wall Rocket, Austrian Yellowcress, Awlwort, Bastard Cabbage, Black Mustard, Bristol Rock-cress, Charlock, Common Scurvygrass, Common Whitlowgrass, Coralroot, Creeping Yellowcress, Cuckooflower, Dame's-violet, Danish Scurvygrass, Dittander, Early Wintercress, Eastern Rocket, English Scurvygrass, Evergreen Candytuft, False London Rocket, Field Pennycress, Field Pepperwort, Flixweed, Garden Arabis, Garden Candytuft, Garden Cress, Garden Radish, Garden Rocket, Garlic Mustard, Glabrous Whitlowgrass, Gold of Pleasure, Great Yellowcress, Greater Cuckooflower, Greater Periwinkle, Greater Swinecress, Hairy Bittercress, Hairy Rock-cress, Hairy Rocket, Hairy Whitlowgrass, Hedge Mustard, Hoary Cress, Hoary Mustard, Hoary Stock, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Horseradish, Hutchinsia, Hybrid Watercress, Intermediate Periwinkle, Isle of Man Cabbage, Large Bittercress, Lesser Swinecress, London Rocket, Lundy Cabbage, Marsh Yellowcress, Mountain Scurvygrass, Narrow-fruited Watercress, Narrow-leaved Bittercress, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Northern Rock-cress, Northern Yellowcress, Oilseed Rape, Perennial Rocket, Perennial Wall Rocket, Perfoliate Pennycress, Pinnate Coralroot, Purple Rock-cress, Pyrenean Scurvygrass, Rock Whitlowgrass, Russian Rocket, Scottish Scurvygrass, Sea Kale, Sea Radish, Sea Rocket, Sea Stock, Shepherd's Cress, Shepherd's Purse, Small-flowered Wintercress, Smith's Pepperwort, Steppe Cabbage, Swede, Sweet Alyssum, Tall Rocket, Thale Cress, Tower Mustard, Treacle Mustard, Trefoil Cress, Turnip, Wall Whitlowgrass, Wallflower, Wallflower Cabbage, Warty Cabbage, Watercress, Wavy Bittercress, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Fields, gardens, hedgerows, meadows, roadsides, towns, wasteland, woodland.

Variable in colour, 4 petals
Purple clusters, sometimes white, 4 petals.
Papery, translucent, oval seed pods which persist throughout winter.
Hairy, oval to heart-shaped, pointed leaves. The lower leaves are stalked and the upper are unstalked. The margins of the leaves are serrated.
Other Names:
Annual Honesty, Bolbonac, Dollar Plant, Lunaria, Money Plant, Moon Plant, Moonwort, Penny Flower, Satin Flower, Silver Dollar, Silver Spoons, White Money Plant.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Lunaria annua, also known as annual honesty or money plant, is a species of flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae. It is native to the Balkans and western Asia, but is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in many parts of the world. The plant is an annual or biennial, growing up to 3 feet tall and producing large clusters of fragrant, purple or white flowers in the spring or early summer. After the flowers have faded, the plant produces large, round, translucent seedpods that resemble silver coins, which is why it is commonly called the "money plant". These seedpods persist on the plant through winter and can be used in dried flower arrangements. Lunaria annua is a hardy and easy to grow plant, it is often used in cottage gardens, wildflower meadows, or as a cut flower.


Honesty, also known as Lunaria annua, is a beautiful plant that is often grown for its ornamental value. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes other popular garden plants like broccoli, kale, and mustard. Honesty is native to Europe and Western Asia, but it has been introduced to many other parts of the world, including North America.

Honesty is a biennial plant, which means that it completes its life cycle in two years. In the first year, it produces a rosette of leaves that grow close to the ground. These leaves are heart-shaped and have a fuzzy texture. In the second year, the plant sends up tall, sturdy stems that can reach up to three feet in height. At the top of these stems, clusters of small, purple flowers appear in the spring. After the flowers are pollinated, they develop into flat, papery seed pods that resemble silver coins. These pods are what give Honesty its other common name, "silver dollar plant."

In addition to its attractive appearance, Honesty is also a useful plant. The seeds and leaves are edible and can be used in salads, soups, and other dishes. The seeds are rich in protein, and they have a nutty flavor. The leaves are a good source of vitamin C and can be used as a substitute for spinach.

Honesty is also used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. The plant contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It has been used to treat everything from headaches and menstrual cramps to arthritis and rheumatism.

Growing Honesty is relatively easy. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade. It can tolerate drought conditions, but it will grow better with regular watering. Honesty self-seeds readily, so once you have planted it in your garden, you can expect it to come back year after year.

In addition to its ornamental and medicinal value, Honesty has cultural significance in some parts of the world. In Germany and other European countries, the seed pods are often used in crafts, such as Christmas decorations and wreaths. The pods are also used in traditional Chinese medicine, where they are believed to have cooling properties and are used to treat hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.

Honesty is also a favorite of pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, making it a great addition to a pollinator garden. The plant's nectar-rich flowers provide an important food source for these important insects.

Another interesting feature of Honesty is its ability to accumulate metals in its leaves and stems. This property has led to its use in phytoremediation, a process where plants are used to remove contaminants from soil and water. Honesty has been used to clean up soil contaminated with lead and cadmium, among other pollutants.

In addition to its uses in traditional medicine, Honesty has also been studied for its potential health benefits in modern scientific research. Some studies suggest that Honesty extract may have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. These findings are still preliminary and more research is needed, but they suggest that Honesty may have even more potential as a medicinal plant than previously thought.

Honesty is also a low-maintenance plant, making it a great choice for gardeners who are short on time or who want to minimize their environmental impact. The plant does not require much fertilizer, and its self-seeding habit means that it does not need to be replanted every year. Honesty is also resistant to many common garden pests and diseases, making it a hardy and reliable addition to any garden.

In terms of its appearance, Honesty is a popular choice for floral arrangements and craft projects. The seed pods can be dried and used in wreaths, dried flower arrangements, and other decorative items. They also make an interesting addition to a vase of fresh flowers, adding a touch of texture and shimmer to any bouquet.

One interesting cultural aspect of Honesty is its use in folklore and superstition. In some European countries, it is believed that carrying a Honesty seed in your pocket will bring good luck and prosperity. In other parts of the world, Honesty is associated with honesty, integrity, and transparency, and is said to symbolize these values.

The plant has also been used in dyeing fabrics, particularly in the past when natural dyes were more commonly used. The seed pods can be boiled to produce a pale yellow dye, while the leaves and stems can be used to produce a green dye.

Honesty is also a popular plant for children's gardens, as the seed pods are fun to collect and play with. The pods can be opened to reveal the shiny silver interior, which can be used to make jewelry, crafts, and other projects.

Finally, Honesty is a great plant for those who are interested in sustainable gardening practices. Its self-seeding habit means that it can be left to grow naturally and will come back year after year. The plant is also attractive to beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, making it a great addition to a pollinator-friendly garden.

In summary, Honesty is a fascinating and versatile plant with a rich history and many uses. Whether you grow it for its beauty, its medicinal properties, or its cultural significance, it is sure to provide enjoyment and value to your garden. With its low maintenance requirements, hardy nature, and interesting features, Honesty is a great choice for any gardener looking for a unique and rewarding plant to add to their collection.


Honesty filmed in Adlington, Lancashire on the 7th April 2023.


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