Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Show me the Money Plant


An old-fashioned biennial, Money Plant (Lunaria annua) is also known as Honesty and Silver Dollar Plant. Native to central and southern Europe, it was brought to the United States by the Pilgrims. The attractive purple (or white) flowers appear in early spring, from 1 - 3' feet tall. After flowering, the seedpods develop. They start out green and turn to silvery white or translucent orbs that resemble coins. The seeds inside can be dried or simply removed and scattered (nature will also do this for you as it is a notorious re-seeder.) They also are popular in dried flower arrangements. A member of the Mustard family, it is said that the white tapered roots can be eaten raw or boiled.

Easy to grow, just sprinkle seeds in the fall or early spring. It flowers the second year from seed and will probably re-seed for you. You can always scatter more seeds to assure successive flowers.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

10 comments:

  1. I got a start of money plant from db's grandmother but it's never taken off. Too dry. I need to try it in another spot because it is lovely, especially in dappled shade.

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  2. I am not too good with seeds. I always have good intentions to sow some seeds but rarely do so. I love this plant. It is so pretty and I have some of those coins in a vase right now. Hard telling how old they are though.

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  3. These are one of the mainstays of the late spring garden at my family's place. I usually cut most of of the dried seed pods when they stop looking nice or start getting in the way and put them on the compost pile. Then when I spread the compost I get lots of seedlings wherever it goes, thus ensuring lots more money plants.

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  4. I pulled most of mine up last year trying to keep the re-seeding down. They seem to multiply even without the seed pods. They are everywhere this year but a pretty sight.

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  5. One of my favorite annuals. Love how they take care of themselves....

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  6. Dear Philip, I am familiar with this plant in its silver-pod form. I didn't realize it has such pretty flowers! P. x

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  7. It is a favorite of mine, as well, though I have it now coming up (along with Cleome and Verbena bonariensis)in the cracks in the pavement in the street.....don't know why the neighbors talk!

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  8. Ha ha..you make me want to watch Jerry McGuire again! This is one plant I have never grown but I need to. Thanks for sharing details about yours...sounds easy.

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  9. This is one of the plants I never recognize in bloom. It is so pretty.

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