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Honesty

Edible Edible Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer

The Latin name Lunaria means moon like and refers to the shape and appearance of the seedpods.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Honesty, Annual Honesty, Moonwort, Money Plant
Scientific Name Lunaria annua
Season Start Mar
Season End Oct
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Ovate with a pointed end and marked serrations along the edge of the leaf.

Flowers

Purple or white cruciforme (cross shaped) flowers growing all over the tall stems.

Seeds

The fruit looks like silver pennies with a see-through membrane containing the seeds, these discs can over winter.

Habitat

Flower beds and naturalised along paths, field edges, hedgerows and waste ground.

Possible Confusion

Before the flowers appear in Spring it can be easy to confuse with several other species but after the white or purple flowers bloom the plant can be identified quite easily. When the flowers drop the seed pods appear and can stay on the plant throughout Summer, Autumn and Winter and again make this plant easy to identify.

Smell

When flowering the plant has a floral fragrance.

Taste

Honesty has a cabbage like taste in both the leaves and flowers.

The seeds taste like mustard.

Collecting

The leaves can be collected and used as a green vegetable or in salads before the flowers appear..

The flowers can be added to salads.

The seeds can be used to make a mustard substitute which is strengthened by crushing and mixing with cold water.

The root can be peeled and eaten.

Medicinal Uses

A fatty acid obtained from the seeds has been used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Other Facts

The dried seed pods are often used in flower arranging due to their silver, coin like appearance.
The beautiful seed pods used to be used by Victorians to paint intricate scenes on.

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