Fig 1

DESCRIPTION: Height up to 90cm.  An absolutely delightful plant to encounter with its large oval leaves that are serrated and pointed, hairy and stalked lower down on the stem and unstalked higher up.  The loose racemes bear purple flowers (sometimes white) with each individual bloom made up of 4 light lined petals. The silicles (not true seed pods) are distinctive and can remain on the plant long after flowering. DISTRIBUTION: Quite common in England becoming less so in other parts of the country. HABITAT:Hedgerows, woodland edges, gardens and wasteground.  This biennial is far from fussy as to where it takes root. FLOWERING TIME: Can flower anytime of the year but best seen from March to October. EXTRA NOTES: The papery and translucent silicles that are easily identified and remembered are why this plant is known as 'The Money Plant' in South East Asia and 'Coins of Judas' in The Netherlands, the latter alluding to the story of Judas Iscariot and the thirty pieces of silver he was paid for betraying Christ.  The name 'Honesty' is derived from the fact that these silicles are see-through. The Latin name lunaria means 'moon-shaped' and refers to the shape and appearance of this species' silicles. In the language of flowers, the plant represents honesty, money, and sincerity. In witchcraft, the honesty plant is considered protective, being thought to keep away monsters.

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