Thursday, May 7, 2015

Seldom Seen #8

Our silver dollars are only "seldom seen" because they are tucked in a little recess in the corner of our Gathering Space right outside of the chapel. Unless you're looking for them they are overlooked, but they are lovely and I think we've had them for years. Especially pretty up against the natural light from the window and the matching whiteness of the vase.

Lunaria, Silver Dollar

Also known as Honesty, of the genus Lunaria, silver dollar plants are named for their fruit, with pods dry to flat silverish discs about the size of silver dollars. They hail from Europe and were one of the first flowers grown in the dooryard gardens of the New World for their pods and edible roots. They are members of the family Brassicaceae or mustard family, which is evident in their foliage: fast-growing single stems that can reach about two feet high with broad oval leaves that are coarsely toothed.

They are delicate, four-petaled, pink to purple blossoms grown in racemes or clusters atop the long stems and bloom in early to mid-summer. The seed pods produced by these dainty flowers are what make caring for a money plant worthwhile. By late summer, the large flat seed pods have dried to silvery discs that show off the seeds inside.

While lunarias are biennials, growing one year and flowering the next, they are so prolific they are often mistaken for perennials and considered invasive. What the money plant growing info usually fails to mention is they are so much easier to weed out than most other garden annoyances.

The dried stalks of the lunaria silver dollar plant makes excellent additions to dried flower arrangements created from your landscape either in conjunction with other plants, such as grasses, or alone clustered in a vase.