Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Now to continue the stroll through my garden. This beautiful purple flowering plant is called Lunaria.

About 20 years ago, my neighbour gave me a little unmarked packet of seeds. They were a gift from her sister, but her husband would not let her plant them in their garden. She told me that her sister had given her instructions on how to plant them. "Just sprinkle some of the seeds and let them grow," she told me. She didn't know the name of them or what they would look like. I planted them anyway and now I am ever so glad that I did! Each spring I am rewarded with a beautiful purple garden!

Lunaria is a biennial. The seeds are planted in the summer and grow into small plants during the first year. They go dormant over the winter and start to grow again early in the spring. These things are amazing! They grow about two feet in just a month or so. They are also one of the earliest bloomers in the garden. The plant goes on to create wonderful see-through seed pods. These can be dried and used in dried arrangements. This round, silver pod also gives the plant its common names of Honesty (because it is see-through) and Money Plant or Silver Dollar Plant.

I have never planted this plant since those first seeds that my neighbour gave me. The seeds just plant themselves. They come up all over my garden. I usually leave them where they are until they finish blooming. Then I pull them out or leave them, depending on where they are. I always make sure there are some healthy looking ones that are allowed to go to seed. I also look at their colour. For some reason those first plants were all purple, but since then I often get white Lunaria. I love the white ones and will usually leave them to go to seed in the hopes of getting more white flowering plants.

Family: Brassicaceae. Genus: Lunaria. Species: L. annua.
Common names: Silver Dollar Plant, Money Plant, Honesty

1 comment:

  1. These purple flowers are a familiar sight in my garden every year. This year they also moved to my neighbours garden. Together with the periwinkle they take up a lot of space. But for now we just enjoy them.
    I never had a white silver dollar.