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Lunaria annua

Lunaria annua L.

 

Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderBrassicalesMustard, cabbage, caper, papaya, nasturtiums, many others; most produce mustard oil
FamilyBrassicaceaeMustards, cabbages
GenusLunariaFrom Latin luna, “moon,” because the dried seed pods resemble a full moon
SpeciesannuaFrom Latin annua, “annual”

About plant names...

Annual honesty is native to the Balkans and southwest Asia. It has spread through North America, as well as Europe and some other parts of Asia.

Identification: Plants are 24-36" (60-91 cm) in height, with hairy stems. Leaves are heart-shaped and serrated. Flowers are pink, magenta, or purple, about an inch across, with four petals each. The common name “honesty” dates back to the 16th century, and may be a reference to the translucent seed pods. It is these seed pods that are the most striking identifying feature—if you encounter them in the fall, that is. The round pods really do look silvery.

Lunaria annua (Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars)

Photo by Rosenzweig, at Löwenstein, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Online References:

Lunaria annua at Illinois Wildflowers

Lunaria annua on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Lunaria annua on Wikipedia

Lunaria annua at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Lunaria annua on CalPhotos

Lunaria annua on eFloras

Lunaria annua (Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars)

7/12/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 13 × 12" (34 × 29 cm)

Lunaria annua (Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars)

7/12/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Lunaria annua (Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars)

9/29/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Lunaria annua (Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars)

6/4/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 10 × 15" (26 × 39 cm)

Lunaria annua description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Lunaria annua (Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars)

11/29/2009 · Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Lunaria annua (Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars)

7/12/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Lunaria annua (Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars)

11/29/2009 · Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 9 × 14" (23 × 35 cm)

Lunaria annua (Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars)

7/31/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 10 × 9" (25 × 23 cm)

Lunaria annua (Annual Honesty, Money Plant, Silver Dollars)

6/4/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 7 × 6" (16 × 14 cm)

Range: Zones 5-9:

About this map...