Honesty

Lunaria annua

About

Originally from south-east Europe, Honesty is a garden escapee that can often be found on waste ground, railway cuttings and roadside verges. Its purple are attractive enough, but it’s the seed pods that most people will recognise - translucent and papery silver 'coins' that hang on the skeleton of the plant throughout the winter. In fact, it is known as the 'Money Plant' in South East Asia and 'Coins of Judas' in The Netherlands. Here, the name Honesty likely arose from the see-through nature of the pods.

How to identify

Honesty has heart-shaped green leaves with toothed edges, and pink, purple or white flowers with four petals that appear in May and June. The flowers are followed by the oval, papery seed pods.

Where to find it

Common in England, but less so in other parts of the UK.

Habitats

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • Novermber
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

To encourage wildlife into your garden, try planting native flower species in your borders to provide a 'nectar-cafe' for bees and butterflies. But if you do prefer some non-native varieties, be careful when you throw away cuttings - species can easily escape into surrounding habitats and can cause problems for local wildlife. To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Honesty
Latin name
Lunaria annua
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 90cm
Conservation status
Introduced species.