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Common Name: Honesty
Lunaria annua is a Annual/Biennial up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Europe - Sweden. More or less naturalized in Britain.
Moist soils in full sun or light shade, avoiding acid soils.
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Lepidoptera, Self
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[
]. Prefers a light soil[
]. Prefers partial shade but also succeeds in full sun[
]. Established plants tolerate drought[
Plants are hardy to about -15°c[
Honesty has an absolute requirement for vernalisation, which is quite considerable[
]. Plants will not flower in spring unless they have been overwintered as well-established plants[
]. The plant requires a cold temperature vernalisation period of at least 10 weeks at 5°C to induce maximum flower production[
A good bee and butterfly plant[
Often grown in the flower garden[
], it is occasionally cultivated for its root[
Plants are fast-growing and usually self-sow freely[
Seed - cooked. A pungent flavour, they are used as a mustard substitute[
]. The pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed - an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 - 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild bitter mustard[
Root - raw[
]. Used before the plant produces flowers[
The seed contains 30-40% oil which is rich in long chain fatty acids such as erucic and nervonic[
]. This makes it potentially suitable for production of high-temperature lubricants and engineering nylons, possibly also some pharmaceutical preparations[
Seed - sow early spring or early autumn in situ[
]. The plant will often self-sow.