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Lunaria annua

Description

Silver Dollar is an herbaceous biennial in the mustard family. It grows up to 3' tall and is taller than it is broad. The flat papery fruits are showy and are this plant's most valued feature. Flowers bloom in late spring to summer and the fruits appear in midsummer. This plant flowers the 2nd year from propagation by seed. Lunaria is derived from luna, the Latin name for moon, a reference to the shape of the fruit. It is used most often in dried floral arrangements. This plant requires full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. If you start it in your garden it will be there forever. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems. 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Fruit is orbicular, flat silicle with a papery septum
  • Racemose flowers have 4 clawed petals
  • Leaves are toothed, alternate, cordate

It is reported as invasive in some areas of the country.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Lunaria annua var. alba
    White flowers
Tags:
#white#pink#showy flowers#invasive#full sun#partial shade#biennial#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#weedy#shade garden#spring flowers#showy fruits#well-drained soil#woodland#self-seeding#cutting garden#fantz#dried arrangements#dried fruits
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Lunaria annua var. alba
    White flowers
Tags:
#white#pink#showy flowers#invasive#full sun#partial shade#biennial#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#weedy#shade garden#spring flowers#showy fruits#well-drained soil#woodland#self-seeding#cutting garden#fantz#dried arrangements#dried fruits
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lunaria
    Species:
    annua
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Biennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Weed
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Fruit Description:
    Paper-thin, flat, orbicular, flat silicle, silver dollar sized fruits that become translucent with age and resemble a full moon, hence one of the common names. Septums are pearly white in color.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    2-6 inch terminal racemes of pink, white, or purple 1/2 inch deeply clawed flowers with branching veins. Bloom time is late spring to summer and they have a pleasant fragrance.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, simple, broad-ovate to heart-shaped (cordate), acute, cordate, and coarsely dentate. Upper leaves are sessile or subsessile. Leaves are pointed at the tip and are up to 3.5 inches long by 2 inches wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Hairy stems are erect, tall, and branching. Green to reddish-green.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Problems:
    Weedy