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Lunaria annua - L.
Common Name Honesty, Annual honesty, Silver Dollar, Moneywort, Moonwort, Penny Flower, Money Plant
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness 8-10
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  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Bloom Color: Pink, Purple. Main Bloom Time: Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Upright or erect.

Lunaria annua Honesty, Annual honesty, Silver Dollar, Moneywort, Moonwort, Penny Flower, Money Plant

Lunaria annua Honesty, Annual honesty, Silver Dollar, Moneywort, Moonwort, Penny Flower, Money Plant
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 (UK) 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.
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.

L. biennis.

 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
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Woodland garden. 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]. Special Features:Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers.
Seed - sow early spring or early autumn in situ[200]. The plant will often self-sow.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Expert comment
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
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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Subject : Lunaria annua  

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