Saturday, November 21, 2009


Lunaria is native to eastern Europe and southwest Asia, but has become naturalized in other places. It is a member of the mustard family, the Brassicaceae. It is known to some as honesty, I'm not sure why, and to others as money plant, because the translucent seed pods resemble coins, especially after the seeds are gone.

When we moved into our first house, we were given a Chinese vase stuffed with dried money plant branches. The seed pods had been carefully slit open and the seeds removed. It was elegant, but difficult to dust. It sat on the floor in a corner.

A few years later, when our first child became ambulatory, I decided to place the money plant vase on a table to keep it from curious hands. It was not long after I had done this that the last significant earthquake to strike this region occurred. It came at mid-morning. Son was sitting beside me on the sofa. We were reading Curious George. The house shook, the lamps swayed, and the vase with the money plant fell off the table. Son said, "Ooooh."

Ooooh indeed.

The sprig of Lunaria in the picture was atop a compost heap at the park. It was guarded by an angry Winter Wren.


Pablo said...

We had that growing in a garden bed in the backyard for a few years, but I haven't seen it in a long time.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

never can get that stuff to grow here.

Cicero Sings said...

If one is transparent ... they can't hide too much ... they have to be pretty honest! To live a transparent life is to live an honest life.

GardenJoy4Me said...

That was a wonderful story .. the picture is rather haunting for some reason .. it would have been a perfect Halloween setting ? LOL
I have looked for this plant and it seems to be a bit rare aroundhere at least ?

spinyurchin said...

I like this plant. You never expect the flowers to produce such funky seed pods.
(Funny, I was just talking with folks the other day of where we were and what we were doing when that earthquake hit.)