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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    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Lunaria annua Honesty, Annual honesty, Silver Dollar, Moneywort, Moonwort, Penny Flower, Money Plant


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Aka
Lunaria annua Honesty, Annual honesty, Silver Dollar, Moneywort, Moonwort, Penny Flower, Money Plant
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Ericoides

 

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Summary

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


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 June to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). 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.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

L. biennis.

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

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

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.

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Propagation

Seed - sow early spring or early autumn in situ[200]. The plant will often self-sow.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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 :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Botrychium lunariaCommon MoonwortFern0.1 -  LMHSNDM02 

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

david   Tue Jul 7 2009

Leaves were also used in salads according to Painter & Power (A Garden of Old Fashioned and Unusual Herbs)

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.

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.

   Feb 27 2013 12:00AM

Does anybody know whether the perennial relative of this plant Lunaria rediviva is also edible ?

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