T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Lunaria annua (Honesty)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Lunaria
Species: L. annua
Binomial name: Lunaria annua
Common names: Honesty, Annual honesty, Money Plant, Coins of Judas

Lunaria annua, is a species of flowering plant native to the Balkans and south west Asia, and naturalized throughout the temperate world. In New Zealand it is garden escapee found on waste ground, railway cuttings and roadside verges.
It is an annual or biennial growing to 90 cm tall by 30 cm broad, with large, coarse, pointed oval leaves with with toothed edges. In spring and summer it bears terminal racemes of pink, purple or white flowers with four petals, followed by showy, light brown, translucent, disc-shaped seedpods (silicles) the skin of which falls off to release the seeds, revealing a central membrane which is white with a silvery sheen, 3–8 cm in diameter; they persist on the plant through winter. These pods are much used in floral arrangements.



The four petalled flower.


The seed pos containing seeds.


The translucent and papery seed pods hang on the skeleton of the plant throughout the winter. The name Honesty likely arose from the see-through nature of the pods.