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Lunaria annua - L.                
                 
Common Name Honesty
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
Synonyms L. biennis.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Moist soils in full sun or light shade, avoiding acid soils.
Range Europe - Sweden. More or less naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Lunaria annua is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Lunaria annua Honesty


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Aka
Lunaria annua Honesty
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ericoides
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Root;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Seed - cooked. A pungent flavour, they are used as a mustard substitute[183]. The pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed - an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 - 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild bitter mustard[238]. Root - raw[2, 61, 177]. Used before the plant produces flowers[46, 183].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[1]. Prefers a light soil[108]. Prefers partial shade but also succeeds in full sun[188]. Established plants tolerate drought[190]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[200]. A good bee and butterfly plant[30]. Often grown in the flower garden[1], it is occasionally cultivated for its root[61]. Plants are fast-growing and usually self-sow freely[188].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow early spring or early autumn in situ[200]. The plant will often self-sow.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[30]Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe.
An excellent book on Lepidoptera, it also lists their favourite food plants.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[108]International Bee Research Association. Garden Plants Valuable to Bees.
The title says it all.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[190]Chatto. B. The Dry Garden.
A good list of drought resistant plants with details on how to grow them.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
david Tue Jul 7 2009
Leaves were also used in salads according to Painter & Power (A Garden of Old Fashioned and Unusual Herbs)
Elizabeth H.
David Nicholls, New Zealand (davidni@xtra.co.nz) Sat Jan 2 2010
Another authority that says Honesty leaves are edible raw is Couplan (The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America). I've found that when honesty is grown in full shade the leaves are so big (up to 8 inches wide & 10 in long) they are perfectly suited to wrapping food like rice, like an enchilada without the weight gain. I've been trying various big leaves for this kind of finger food, this is the best so far, strong enough to hold together, soft enough to bite through easily. It does not seem bitter to me, a pleasant bland flavor, perhaps a very slightly rough texture(picked before flowering, there are reports it is bitter or gets bitter with flowering. Maybe sunlight makes it bitter). it is also a pretty leaf.
Elizabeth H.
David N Sun Jan 3 2010
Actually I've noticed the slightly rouge texture is due to countless tiny stiff 'hairs' on the surface of the leaf, if you rub it on your face they even hurt just a tiny bit, but I have not noticed any irritation in the mouth while eating it so far. Perhaps these hairs explain why the leaves are rarely used. It will take time for me to know whether I like it or not, once the halo of novelty has worn off.
Paul A.
Feb 27 2013 12:00AM
Does anybody know whether the perennial relative of this plant Lunaria rediviva is also edible ?
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