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Moonwort seed podLunaria annua

Two plants are known as moonwort. The other one is an endangered wild fern (Botrychium species) that is extremely difficult to grow. This magick herb in contrast is domesticated and fairly easy to grow, and it's very decorative. It's great for Moon magic, the dried silvery oval pods being especially evocative of the Moon. This plant is protective in that it is said to keep away monsters. It is used to gather midnight, Moon-charged dew for magickal or alchemical work. In the language of flowers, it represents money, sincerity, and honesty. Consider it for prosperity spells. The flower essence helps in self evaluation and to recall what has been forgotten or repressed. It also encourages honesty. Top

MoonwortMoonwort has been grown since the Middle Ages. Gerard mentions that it was used to treat wounds, but it was a favorite in Colonial gardens on account of its root, which is peeled and eaten; its young leaves harvested before flowering are also edible. It is found at both Mount Vernon and Monticello. Victorian middle-class housewives would paint little scenes on the silvery pods. The oil of the seeds contains unusual fatty acids that have been used against multiple sclerosis.Top

The leaves have a slightly sweet scent, and the purple, phlox-like flowers are fragrant and attract butterlies and bees, but some people are allergic to the pollen. This native of southeastern Europe begins blooming in early spring, when not much else is flowering yet, and continues to flower until mid summer.This member of the broccoli family is also known as money plant, silverbloom, bolbonac, silver dollar, lunary, white satin, satinflower, penny flower, silverplate, judas pence, shilling, two pennies in a purse, money in both pockets, Peter's pence, and monnaie-du-pape. The name "honesty" comes from the fact that the seedpods are transparent. Top

How to Grow Moonwort
Sow 1/4" deep to germinate at room temperature in 20 days. Transplant to full sun/partial shade and rich, moist soil (not acidic, so not around pine trees). If you want to try to give this cold stratification, it needs to be at least 10 weeks long at 41F/5C (like in a refrigerator). Or start outside on July 1. The first year they won't do much or look very good. The second year they will get flowers in spring and then pods. The plant gets 24-36"/60-90cm tall. Space them 15-18"/38-45cm apart. They are hardy down to -30F/-34.4C. Harvest long stems and hang to dry for 6 days. Rub pods or peel off the outer covering to reveal the silvery Moon shape beneath. Or just let them dry on the plants (they will scatter seeds this way). This plant can be weedy in the Northwest. General growing info  Top


Lunaria annua
30 seeds $3.25

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Protection Spells
Prosperity Spells
Moon Herb

2006, 2018 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission