Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Lunaria Rediviva

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Lunaria rediviva Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Lunaria rediviva Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 90cm

Eventual Spread: 50cm

Hardiness: 5a – 9b

Family: Brassicaceae

Lunaria rediviva is a fast growing herbaceous perennial with an erect, clump forming habit. Its mid green leaves are heart shaped with a serrate margin and pointed tip, opposite and up to 8cm long and 5cm wide. Its fragrant, white to purple flowers are cross shaped, arranged in racemes. These are followed by flattened seed pods, which when mature resemble papery coins, these persist through the winter months.

Lunaria rediviva, commonly known as Honesty, Perennial Honesty or Money Plant, is native throughout many parts of Europe (not the UK). In its native habit it is found in damp forests on alkali soils.

The etymological root of the binomial name Lunaria is derived from the Latin luna meaning ‘moon’, alluding to the round and silvery seed vessels. Rediviva is from the Latin meaning ‘re-used’, in reference to its perennial habit.

Lunaria rediviva (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Lunaria rediviva (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Lunaria rediviva useful as for low maintenance informal planting scheme. It may also be used as part of a wildflower meadow scheme. Once established this plant will tolerate periods of drought.

Ecologically, L. rediviva is attractive to bees and pollinating insects.

L. rediviva prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate damp soils.

Lunaria rediviva requires little maintenance.

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