Lunaria annua. Brought to America by Puritans, this old heirloom is also known by such colourful names as Judas' Penny and Moonwort. Plant Honesty Lunaria seeds in spring in sun or partial shade and enjoy mauve flowers, followed by distinctive papery seedpods. These start out flat, circular, and green, but become silvery white and paper-like as they mature, making excellent dried displays. The seeds are easy to harvest from within each pod for seed saving and sharing. Lunaria grows to about 90cm (35") tall, and makes a good mate for Foxgloves in shady areas of the garden.
Started early enough indoors, Honesty will flower in the first year, hence "annual." Sown later, it will not flower in the first year and behave as a biennial. It is a good example of plants that do not follow the conventional "rules" we attribute to gardening.
The information here refers to the annual (sometimes biennial) plant that is known as Lunaria annua. It also goes by the common names Honesty, Moonwort, Judas’ Penny, Satin Flower, Money Plant, and Silver Dollars. Planted early enough in the year, it will bloom in the first summer. Planted later, it will behave as a biennial, and bloom the following summer. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow Lunaria from seed.
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Zone: Hardy to Zone 4
Direct sow in early spring, when there is still some risk of frost—mid to late March on the coast. Or sow in the fall where winters are mild.
Sow seeds a couple of millimetres (1/8″) deep, and space plants 30-45cm (12-18″) apart.
Mulch well before the first winter. Transplanting does not work well with this variety. Plant in any reasonably fertile soil, and pull up plants after flowering if you want to prevent self-sowing. This variety dies back after its decorative seed pods form.