Lunaria: honesty, moneywort
Height 75cm (2-1/2ft)
Planting distance 30cm (1ft)
Flowersto early summer
Partially shaded site
Although Lunaria annua (also known as Lunaria biennis) can be grown as an annual, it is naturally a biennial and, treated as such, produces finer. These are borne in loose fragrant clusters from mid spring to early summer. The true species has pale lavender flowers while the varieties range from white to rich purple and red. The flowers of both species and varieties are followed in summer by silvery-white seed pods that can be used for indoor decoration.
Popular varieties ‘Mixed’ has rich purple or purple-red – some with white markings — and white flowers. ‘Variegata Stella’ bears pure white flowers and foliage strongly variegated with creamy white.
Sow the seeds outdoors in a nursery bed (or in their flowering position) in late spring to early summer. Thin out to 15cm (6in) apart, and then transplant to the flowering site in early autumn spacing them 30cm (1ft) apart. Honesty grows best in well-drained soil in partial shade.
Pests and diseases