Silver dollar: the coins of the Pope

The Silver Dollar also known as the Pope’s Coin, is a type of plant belonging to the Crucifers. A sort of tall grass with a classic, rather flat, roundish leaf that turns silver when it is dry. Probably this feature gave rise to the ancient custom of calling it the Pope’s Coin. There are three types, all originating from Europe and therefore very common in Italy.
In addition to the aforementioned Silver Dollar there are also Lunaria Rediviva and Lunaria Telekiana with the latter which is present above all in the territory of present-day Albania. It should be noted that Silver Dollar is a plant with a life expectancy of two years while the rediviva (hence the reason for its name) is a perennial plant. In addition, the Annua presents a purple-colored flower composed of four petals and above all does not spread odors. Once dried it is widely used for ornamental purposes in domestic environments giving an undisputed touch of elegance.


In order to sow and cultivate Silver Dollar in the garden or inside an apartment it is necessary to observe and respect some of its peculiarities. It is a plant that prefers places where temperatures are cool enough and not too exposed to the sun’s rays. The soil to be used in pots must be draining, soft and at the same time rich in organic substances (these types can easily be found on the market at specialized points of sale).
Very important is also the amount of water to be used for watering: during the winter months you can safely omit the irrigation while from April to late October you must be careful not to encourage the stagnation of water. Concerning fertilization there are two alternatives. The first involves every month the use of a liquid fertilizer diluted in the same water used for irrigation. A specific product for flowering plants should be used. The second one should be done once a year and to be precise during the autumn months, going to deposit the mature manure ground.

Diseases and cures

There are several diseases that can affect Silver Dollar at any time especially in the case of excessive humidity. Specifically, it may show signs of the so-called white mal or better known as oidium and that is the obvious white powdery deposits present on the leaves. Always for the same reason at the base of the plant, you can form deleteri mushrooms of the species Pythium and Phytophtora that precisely act to act in a nefasta way on the roots leading to a progressive yellowing and then to death.

To combat these problems of Silver Dollar in the best way it is necessary to treat its humidity avoiding stagnation of water. Finally can be attacked by some specific parasites such as aphids and mealybugs to fight with appropriate treatments that prevent their arrival.


Silver Dollar is often used to compose the classic bridal bouquet for weddings. The reason is not only due to the aesthetic aspect but also to its meaning. In fact, in the language of flowers, Silver Dollar symbolizes honesty and clarity. Moreover, it is a plant widely used also in herbal medicine and in particular, thanks to the presence of active ingredients, antioxidants and vitamin C, it is extracted a tincture particularly useful for the ability to stimulate digestion favoring reflex appetite.

Precisely because of the presence of vitamin C, in the past it was used to combat scurvy. Lastly, in the past, Silver Dollar was used in the kitchen with roots and leaves that were a tasty salad while the seeds, after being skilfully beaten, served as an aroma.

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