Lunaria ( loon AIR ee a) from the Latin word luna meaning moon

Lunaria annua flLunaria is the genus name plants in the mustard family, Brassicaceae, that also includes cabbage, candytuft, and alyssum. The genus is native to central and southern Europe and includes four species, two of which are found in gardens. The generic name Lunaria refers to the papery, translucent seed pods (silicles). The plants have toothed heart-shaped leaves and purple or white flowers that are held above the foliage. Lunarias are not difficult to grow and do well in most garden soils if given afternoon shade.

Here are the two Lunarias for the garden.

Lunaria annua (Honesty)
LunariaAnnuapods 2Also called honesty, dollar plant, Chinese money, Chinese coins, coins of Judas, and the Pope’s money this biennial has been grown since Victorian times for its beautiful seed pods. The seed pods are round, two inches across, and silvery. They can be cut just as the green color disappears, hung upside down to dry for three to five weeks and then used in dried arrangements for a spectacular effect. If the pods are not harvested the plants will self seed.

Lunaria rediviva(Perennial Honest)
Lunaria_redivivapodsNot as common as L. annua, this true perennial is larger and has lighter colored more fragrant flowers but less showy pods. The pods are eliptiacal, two to three inches long by one inch wide, and can be dried and used in arrangements.

By Karen