This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Biennial or perennial pilose herbs with erect branching stems and cordate simple dentate petiolate leaves and terminal racemes of purple flowers. This genus is remarkable for the oval or oblong compressed stipitate siliquas, whose transparent silvery partition is persistent after the valves have fallen away. Only two species are known; natives of Central Europe and Western Asia. Name from luna, the moon, the shape of the seed-vessel.
1. L. biennis, syn. L. annua (fig. 35). - This is the plant familiarly known as Honesty. A biennial, from 2 to 3 feet high, with large purplish-violet flowers. There is also a white variety. May to July.
2. L. redivlva. - A perennial species, not so pretty as the above, with smaller pale blue flowers and a smaller seed-pouch.
Fig. 35. Lunaria biennis. (1/6 nat. size.)