Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Money Plant, Honesty, Bolbonac, Moonwort, Silver Dollar
Lunaria annua

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Family: Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lunaria (loo-NAIR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: annua (AN-yoo-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Lunaria biennis

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

80 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Biennials

Height:
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing:
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Foliage:
Herbaceous

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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Profile:

25 positives
6 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive coriaceous On May 20, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A self-sowing biennial that blooms in that awkward time after the tulips have finished and before the peonies and bearded iris. Flowers are white or purple. The white form has been given the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

There are seed strains with handsomely variegated foliage---white on the margins---but the variegation only appears in the second year.

Combines beautifully with Camassia and Allium 'Purple Sensation'. Pretty, easy, and adaptable. Tolerates considerable shade or full sun here.

Taprooted, and with few fibrous roots, this plant is notoriously difficult to transplant, even when young, and does best when seed is scattered where it's wanted.

I find it is easily controlled in the garden.

This species has naturalized throughout the temperate world, but there is no evidence that it is destructive of natural habitat here in northeastern North America.

Positive LanfrancoLeo On May 19, 2014, LanfrancoLeo from Harrisburg, PA wrote:

Very nice plant for a early-mid spring blooming garden!
It is a true biennial plant, that can handle very well winter here in Harrisburg PA (area 7). Bloom profusely for more than 3 weeks, with a slightly - almost nonexistent scent. During the first year I gave a great amount of nitrogen that allows to develop a huge cluster of flower this year. The following pods are pretty interesting. I will definitively replant next year and hope that some spontaneous self-saw volunteer appear in the right place of my garden. I have to mention that in some neglected garden tend to naturalize, but since its biennial habit and the easy -to-detect seedpods I do not believe is that difficult to keep under control especially in a small garden.

Positive wakingdream On Jul 5, 2013, wakingdream from Allentown, PA wrote:

This biennial thrives in my eastern PA garden, zone 6. Year one is a basal rosette of heart shaped leaves with scalloped edges. Year two is a tall stalk of either white or rosy-purple 4 petaled flowers, slightly fragrant, looking very nice with daffodils and other early spring flowers. It dies afterward, there is no third year except from seedlings thrown off by dry, white, mature stalks. When it self sows too much, I pull it out at any stage, the rosettes of year 1 or the taller stalks of year 2, or I make bouquets after pulling the whole plant. In year 2, the white taproot is substantial, starchy and thick. If the number of stalks drying in the disk stage are too tall or numerous in the beds, I thin the patch and compost what's removed (prior to seed maturity). I husk the dried disks by placing the whole branch upsidedown into a paper shopping bag and shaking firmly. Many disks will just peel away and the few that stick on can be rubbed gently between thumb and forefinger to make them separate. Seeds will fall to the bottom of the bag and collect there along with the shed disks. Dry branches will last for years in dried arrangements when prepared with care. I have thrown handfuls of (new and old) seeds into Pachysandra beds, under Black Pine trees where needles are thick, and amongst the Hostas and ferns - all for blooms the following year. Half shade seems to please this plant. It is easily removed when it oversows itself.

Neutral HydroPinke On Aug 16, 2011, HydroPinke from Burien, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I came across this plant in seed form on a bank owned lot, I had to grab a few of those seed pods. Now that I know what it is I am still excited to grow some, but am wondering about the comment saying it's invasive. Can you verify this claim? I can't find information about this being a problem here in king county Washington.

That patches I saw were quite small, didn't look very invasive. It's my experience that plants who want to be invasive here don't have trouble doing so with all the rain here.

Neutral burien_gardener On Apr 15, 2011, burien_gardener from Burien (SW Seattle), WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Plant nazis are waaay off base about many non-natives that thrive in the Pacific NW. Lunaria is a beneficial plant and does not overrun native areas. If you're looking for something damaging, check out yellow archangel.

Negative seattleboo On Mar 29, 2011, seattleboo from Seattle, WA wrote:

Like many who have commented, I have fond memories of the charms of Lunaria as a child. However, I now understand that it is a serious invasive plant here in the NW (I live in Seattle) that actively displaces natives and discourages diversity in local greenbelts. Yes, it is easy and re-seeds readily. That's the problem. No one, at least around here, should actively cultivate Lunaria. Along with another herbaceous invasive, Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Money Plant should be removed wherever encountered. There are too many great plants to be encouraging a trouble maker like Lunaria. Take a minute to read about invasives in your area, it may change your thinking.

Positive themikeman On Mar 27, 2011, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love silver dollar money plants..not only do these plants make these neat silver seed pods but they have these beautiful medium purple flowers..my mother and grandmother had these when i was a small kid in upstate ny..these bring back really good memories for me..peace..mike.

Positive J_and_J On Apr 28, 2010, J_and_J from Tacoma, WA wrote:

Summer 2009 volunteer in alley turned from silver/white seed heads to INTENSE magenta! Husband picked and brought indoors to me. Later others nearby turned same color and I collected a stunning bouquet. These volunteers have been in alley for many years but never developed this striking color.

TO THE OTHER TACOMA GROWER: Do you think the unusual color was due to the crazy weather we experienced last year?

Some bouquet color has dissipated over the year it has sat infront of a window so I have collected and scattered seeds in hopes of a repeat of '09 color. . .or just silver/white pods are nice too.

Neutral lehua_mc On Mar 25, 2010, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

While many have positive experiences with this plant, I unfairly want to share my very neutral experience. It is not negative, since it isn't the plants fault!
I grew my Lunaria from seed, near my hollyhocks, also from seed. I left the garden in charge of a novice for a week, who likely sprayed water hither and thither, overhead, happily. This is unconfirmed. When I returned, the hollyhocks and Lunaria were sick, with rusts, but of course of different kinds. Lunaria gets a white rust on the underside of the leaves which apparently is the same stuff commerical growers of radishes deal with in our area. They looked hellish, but remained their biannual selves all winter without any concern for the cold snaps. Now they are flowering, and no I haven't waged war of any kind since no other plants (genus species) are likely to be affected. They are however not prized possessions, and look more like a vegetable I wouldn't want to eat.

Neutral caroleigh On Sep 5, 2009, caroleigh from Ocean Springs, MS wrote:

These plants were grown in my mother's garden in McLean N.Y.. They make wonderful and striking bouquets. I am now attempting to grow them here in the deep South near Biloxi Mississippi. I will scatter the seeds and see what happens in the spring, and will report back next year 2010. Carol Tucker, Vancleave Mississippi

Positive jr4335 On Jul 7, 2008, jr4335 from Jacksonville, FL wrote:

I have very fond memories of this plant from my grandparents' house in Cleveland, Ohio. My grandmother always had dried arrangements and I would like to as well but I live in a condo and have no way to plant outside.

Positive gray_53 On Apr 18, 2008, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:

Mine are strictly annuals (unless they are secretly regenerating from the roots). The flowers are a deep purple. If you didn't already know, the seeds germinate very well when you simply scatter them on the ground in zone 7b. I don't have much else to add.

Positive SandyRN On Nov 28, 2007, SandyRN from Blackwood, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very pretty here in South Jersey. I had much better luck letting plants self-sow than trying to germinate packets indoors. I feel that they look a little ratty after blooming and take a long time for seeds to mature. Next year, I think I'll pull them after bloom, go buy some packets and sprinkle them outdoors.

Positive mbkijb On Sep 25, 2007, mbkijb from Buffalo, NY wrote:

I have these silver dollar plants taking over in my front yard in Lackawanna, NY, an outskirt of Buffalo. I want to put them in the back of my front garden and have them as a nice back drop to a bunch of spring bulbs I purchased just recently. When they seeded, they must have blown against my pave stones because they are taking over the front part of my garden, but they are so tall, they will block everything else I want in there.

Positive jazzyl On May 23, 2007, jazzyl from Chickamauga, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is the early beacon for the hummers and honey bees in spring. It is a great naturalizer. I have a white blooming variety.

Positive girlndocs On Mar 31, 2007, girlndocs from Tacoma, WA wrote:

This is one of my very favorite flowers. It self-sows, even in dry shade, obligingly but not thuggishly. It also does the favor of fading into the background shortly after its bloom, except for those beautiful seed heads.

I like it in early bouquets with blue scilla and daylily leaves.

Positive WUVIE On Mar 10, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

In working the Lunaria bed today, it reminded
me to make a post about it.

I have Lunaria self sowing in a shady spot under
a huge black walnut tree, so it is obviously not
bothered by the tree's toxins or the shade produced
by such a grand tree.

The only thing I did notice worth mentioning today is
that it seems the Lunaria don't really have much
of a foothold on the soil when they are young. They
are sort of floppy and not very secure in the soil, so
I felt the need to dig a deeper hole and transplant
a few of the babies. They have been performing,
blooming and reproducing just fine without my help
all this time, I guess I'm just being fussy.

Indeed gorgeous in bloom, amazing when the the
pods develop and as a bonus, the dried stems make
a wonderful everlasting arrangement when the thin
layers are peeled from the seed pods, revealing the
shiny pearl-like surface beneath the skin and seeds.

I'll always have a place for Lunaria in my gardens.

Edit 03-30-2007. First blooms today!


Positive bluespiral On Jan 19, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

Last spring, I visited an elegant garden with one section that consisted of two matching flower borders facing each other across a wide grassy path and with trellises all along the backs of both sides with climbing roses and clematis not yet blooming. What was blooming were repeated clumps of the very double, blowsy, white Festiva Maxima peony paired with lilac flowers of lunaria - unforgettable.

My own garden has several adversarial issues, including limited space, a monster silver maple encroaching on my flowers, occasional droughts and dry spells - and critters - woodchucks, rabbits and occasional deer that manage to bust through the fence. The toughness and beauty of this plant triumphs over all.

------------------------------------

A friend of mine just asked me for advice on how to germinate Lunaria annua seeds, here's advice from the 2nd edition of Norman C. Deno's book, "Seed Germination Theory and Practice" mixed with my own experience.

When I first bought the seed, I sowed it indoors 30 days before last frost around April 1 in cell packs which were covered in transparent Saran wrap (light is needed) and then put them outdoors as soon as they germinated - minus the plastic. I like to time that technique so that seedlings can go right outdoors around the time of last frost (in mid-April) or later for the extra aeration they need to avoid damp-off fungus.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, according to Deno, one reason my seeds successfully germinated might have been the fact that dry-storing Lunaria annua seeds for 6 months enables them to germinate better at both 70*F and 40*F. So, when I received seeds that winter, I also could have wintersown them or direct sown them the following fall. Both of these techniques are much more fool-proof against damping-off fungus problems with germinating seeds than the first technique.

A couple of notes regarding the above:

-- When sowing seeds in pots under plastic, do it indoors under cool types of fluorescents or gro-lites, because direct sun or other types of lights will cook the seeds under the plastic.

-- According to HillGardens.com Lunaria annua seed can be viable for 2 - 3 years when stored under optimum conditions.

-- If all fails, find someone on DG who is already growing this plant, and around July, ask them if they'll send you a branch or some pods after they completely ripened and turned brown. Seed collected while still partially green doesn't germinate as well.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 27, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a plant that looks good at all stages . . . from being full of beautiful purple flowers to little "pods" that become "silver dollars." Even though this is a moisture loving plant, it didn't let the dry, sandy conditions of my sedum bed slow it down!

Positive diwill On Aug 18, 2005, diwill from Wheeling, WV wrote:

These were growing around my house already when I moved in some 13 years ago and, despite my crafts friends coming up to collect the seed pods, the plant continues on and comes up in random patches every year - very hardy and prolific! I had organized a planting in a prepared bed, they were doing very well until my sweet husband mowed them down. Still, I'll start over with seeds from all the plants in the woods. (Fencing is in order for next spring) Exceptional height, color and fragrance.

Positive buzzy On May 17, 2004, buzzy from Ferndale, CA wrote:

they grow great in humboldt county. I have purple and white ones but have never seen yellow. Drying the pods thoroughly is the key to getting the silver dollars. My plants come back twice a summer and some do not die in the winter. They are definatly perennials here in the Bear Valley.

Positive pungo On May 17, 2004, pungo from Norfolk, VA wrote:

The first year I got some purple seeds from a friend, only a few plants came up, but they were purple. The next year I opened the dried seed pods and cast the seeds, but every single plant but one was completely white! Since then I have bought 2 packages of "purple" seeds and they always come out white no matter what. They are prolific growers in my yard and even grow in the grass, but I want PURPLE ones.

Neutral wnstarr On May 17, 2004, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Wa
The Money Plant or Honesty is a plant that has excaped from the flower beds into the wilds. It is found here in small to large plantings along the road or the edge of the woods. It is very hardy, has a wonderful purple-blue flower and is followed by the seed pods. Once the seeds have dried and the husks are slid off you have the thin transparent "money". Looks fantastic as a dried plant in arrangements. It is very attractive to butterflies and humming birds.

Positive verdiway On May 16, 2004, verdiway from Clarkston, GA wrote:

Extremely hardy plant in both my shade and sunny gardens here in Atlanta. In fact, it's about to take over in some places. Lovely flourescent blooms at sunset. I recommend these plants for those spots where nothing else wants to grow.

Positive IowaGal2 On May 10, 2004, IowaGal2 from Gowrie, IA wrote:

Planted seeds last spring and had nice plants, this year they bloomed in early spring. So pretty! I live in Iowa which is Zone 4

Positive herbman75 On Apr 14, 2004, herbman75 from Cornelia, GA wrote:

Reliable re-seeder for zone 7b. Tough as nails here in north Georgia. Have witnessed plants growing in cracks in my grandmothers brick patio. Just toss a handful of seed in a corner of the garden and watch them go!

Positive OMMD On Aug 23, 2003, OMMD wrote:

One of my favorite plants. Unfortunately, between my garden phlox crowding it out and hungry chipmunks, I have gone from a small bed of money plants to just one lone survivor :-(
I'm definitely thinning out the garden phlox AND collecting the money plant seed this year. The chipmunks are going to have to look elsewhere for lunch!

Positive Minette On Aug 15, 2003, Minette from Ottawa ontario
Canada wrote:

I recently found out about this plant, when my sister (a plant fanatic) went for a walk down her street and came home with a cutting of this plant. We didn't know what it was but I wanted it real bad, so she gave it to me...hehe.

I just love it and I wanted more. To our surprise, the woman across the street from her is growing many Silver dollar plants. She was sweet enough to give me some seeds and a few cuttings, but didnt want to part with anymore... She showed me how the leaves come apart to reveal a beautiful silk like coin. Her hubby came walking up in front of me with a bouquet of Silver Dollars already peeled - WOWWWWWW...BEAUTFUL!

Positive Ladyfern On Aug 7, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I wouldn't be without this plant--it's the only plant of decent height blooming in April in my garden. The more I have the better! Plus I love the seed pods for decoration. I don't find that they last very well or look attractive in the garden, so I go ahead and cut down the dried stems and pods.

Positive vagardener On Jul 25, 2003, vagardener from Springfield, VA wrote:

It was planted in a perennial border garden a year ago in early summer and did not bloom. It returned this year and provided some nice early color and foliage. It is establishing nicely in partial shade. I did not harvest the seed pods, because I liked how the silver contrasts against the taller perennials.

Positive mom2cats On Jul 24, 2003, mom2cats from Moorestown, NJ (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant grows extremely well here in NJ (near Philadelphia) -- zone 6/7a. I enjoy seeing it's bright lavender phlox-like flowers first thing each spring. It always comes back annually, and is super easy to grow.

Neutral Terry On Aug 9, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant's common name comes from the dried fruit, called silicles. When dried, the green outer covering peels off to reveal the silvery translucent "silver dollars."

Technically a biennial, it may live for 2-3 years; can become weedy.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (4 reports)
Adana,
Bass River,
Sittingbourne,
Hazel Green, Alabama
Juneau, Alaska
Conway, Arkansas
Malvern, Arkansas
Searcy, Arkansas
Alameda, California
Eureka, California
Hyampom, California
Merced, California
Placerville, California
Richmond, California
San Francisco, California
Stockton, California
Fort Collins, Colorado
Littleton, Colorado
Bantam, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Deland, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Braselton, Georgia
Cornelia, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Mcdonough, Georgia
Nicholson, Georgia
Snellville, Georgia
Villa Rica, Georgia
Lewiston, Idaho
Jacksonville, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Bremen, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana
Gowrie, Iowa
Inwood, Iowa
Ewing, Kentucky
Finchville, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Litchfield, Maine
Compton, Maryland
Cumberland, Maryland
Ellicott City, Maryland
Finksburg, Maryland
Linthicum Heights, Maryland
Millersville, Maryland
Silver Spring, Maryland
Halifax, Massachusetts
Reading, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Brown City, Michigan
Mason, Michigan
Owosso, Michigan
Pinconning, Michigan
South Lyon, Michigan
Stanwood, Michigan
Andover, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Young America, Minnesota
Marietta, Mississippi
Jersey City, New Jersey
Manahawkin, New Jersey
Manasquan, New Jersey
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Buffalo, New York
Elba, New York
Oceanside, New York
Staten Island, New York
West Islip, New York
Westbury, New York
Banner Elk, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Graham, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Mooresville, North Carolina
Rowland, North Carolina
Tryon, North Carolina
Dayton, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Enid, Oklahoma
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Altamont, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2 reports)
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Tiverton, Rhode Island
West Warwick, Rhode Island
Conway, South Carolina
Florence, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Columbia, Tennessee
Franklin, Tennessee
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Maryville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Taylor, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Mechanicsville, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Springfield, Virginia
Chimacum, Washington
North Sultan, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Puyallup, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Tacoma, Washington (2 reports)
Ridgeley, West Virginia
Wheeling, West Virginia
Ellsworth, Wisconsin
Sundance, Wyoming



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