Honesty (Lunaria annua) is a fairly common wildflower in temperate climates. A pretty purple flower, it really comes into its own when the papery seed pods form. It is also known as White Satin, Satin Flower, Money Plant, Silver Plate and Two-Pennies-in-a-Purse. According to wildaboutwildflowers.co.uk, the folklore surrounding it is that for sorcerers, the plant aided shape-changing, flying, finding lost property, unlocking secrets and bringing the dead back to life. It was also used in witches brews and also to dress wounds and treat epilepsy. In Tudor times, the roots were boiled and eaten with meat or grated into salads, while the Victorians painted the seed pods for winter decoration in their homes.
We’ve certainly found that the dried pods are a lovely decoration in a vase indoors, but as for flying, I’m clearly missing something out of the recipe!
The abundance of honesty is our garden varies enormously: some years there is loads in the wooded parts; other years there is very little. However, it is always pretty, even when in an advance state of decay, as shown in the black and white images on the Gallery and Showcase pages.