Purple plant identification

RI Waterman
by RI Waterman
Hi, I live in Rhode Island and this year I noticed a large number of purple flowers (see photos) growing on the edge of my lawn and In overgrown areas where there are strawberries, blackberries and forthysia bushes growing wild. What is this purple plant?
What is this purple flower? It is lying on a concrete step.
Same purple flower as the other one. What is it?
  21 answers
  • Carmie Carmie on May 21, 2015
    Looks like a wild phlox. We have them around here.
  • Meta Meta on May 21, 2015
    This is (Lunaria rediviva) and has in autumn this kind of seed dress https://www.pinterest.com/pin/530510031078386546/. It is quite common in the middle Europe...specially on my garden in spring is all purple :)) (Slovenia)
  • Chris Chris on May 21, 2015
    In England we call this Honesty, looks wonderful when planted in a drift. It seeds very easily and can be transplanted very easily.
  • Deborah Lash Deborah Lash on May 21, 2015
    its also called "Money Plant" because in Autumn the round seed pods turn silvery like coins. It self sows very easily.
    • Muriel Muriel on May 21, 2015
      @Deborah Lash My grandmother used to dry the stalks with the pods and then gently slide the 'money' between your fingers. The sides will come off and the seeds leaving a shiny white circle. This makes a delightful dried arrangement. Thanks for the memories. Will have to look for seeds for myself.
  • 169756 169756 on May 21, 2015
    Very pretty. May try to take some of mine inside this season to see if they survive indoors.
  • Kathleen Conery Kathleen Conery on May 21, 2015
    Yes, it is Lunaria, also called Money Plant. We have this a lot in our back yard... it self seeds very easily. You'll probably find it appearing in more places and bigger patches.
  • Marlene Wilson Marlene Wilson on May 21, 2015
    My Mother called them Phlox.They come in lots of colors and they are lovely.If you like them plant some together and stake or tie them,they tend to fall over.I love it.
  • Kathryn Peltier Kathryn Peltier on May 21, 2015
    It's a wildflower, Hesperis Matronalis - commonly called Damesrocket. Google it.
  • Pat Lindau Pat Lindau on May 21, 2015
    Looks like wild phlox to me as well. It should have a wonderful scent if it is phlox!We have it here in Central NY as well and it just started blooming
  • Diana Pucci Diana Pucci on May 21, 2015
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperis_matronalis#/media/File:Dame's_rocket.jpg vs http://it.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunaria_rediviva vs http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlox_divaricata These flowers all look alike at 1st glance. take a closer look and you will see differences in leaf shape and size, also the flowers while very similar are indeed different, two of them the flower petals at the base are actually connected like a paper cut out, the other the petals are not connected in that way. the two whose flowers look alike have very different leaf structure. I cannot tell from your photos which of the three fits your plant the closest. please check out the links above and let us know what you see. I used the name provided by the other posts before me. It is amazing how similar plants can be, yet so different on closer inspection.
  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on May 21, 2015
    Dame's rocket. Invasive. Lots of people mistake dame's rocket for wild phlox, but there are a few easy ways to tell the difference. If you look closely at the flowers you'll see that dame's rocket flowers have four petals and phlox will have five, matching the number of letters in their names. And also dame's rocket leaves are positioned alternately along its stems, not opposite like phlox leaves. The position of a plant's leaves on its stems can often help with difficult identifications.
  • Jill Thurow Jill Thurow on May 21, 2015
    Phlox (in the mustard family) evasive. 4 flower petal is the evasive weed. 5 petals is the flower that one wants in their garden.
  • Mary Mary on May 21, 2015
    yes definitely Damesrocket.
  • Judith Judith on May 21, 2015
    Money plant for sure and are used in dried flower arrangements or just beautiful in a bunch. I like to put them in a silver, or glass colored vase. Contrast is great! Seeds it's self. The seeds remind me of lentils :)
  • Kathleen Conery Kathleen Conery on May 21, 2015
    Lunaria and Dames Rocket are related, and very difficult to tell apart except for the round seed pods that Lunaria produces. Sometimes the leaves can be different... Lunaria has a heart shape (with a wide base) and Dame's Rocket is all narrow and much longer than wide (a shape called lanceolate). It would be good to know which you have since Dame's Rocket is VERY invasive. You'll want to get rid of it right away if that's it. Lunaria as a strong spreader, but so far it's not invasive. It's definitely not Phlox. Phlox always has five petals to it's flower and this is four.
  • Valerie Thornhill Valerie Thornhill on May 21, 2015
    I think this is what we in Canada call Purple Loosestrife. It is considered a noxious weed.
  • RI Waterman RI Waterman on May 22, 2015
    Wow, thanks for all the great input. I suspect that it is a money plant based on many persons input here and elsewhere. I think I actually have some money plants seeds around here so perhaps I scattered them in my yard and don't recall doing so. I guess I will know for certain later this year if the seed pods appear. I remember money plants in our yard in Orleans, Cape Cod in the summer time but don't recall the purple flowers. Thanks again, everybody!
  • Gypsy Genie Gypsy Genie on May 22, 2015
    It might be shamrock or Honesty, also called Lunaria.
  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on May 02, 2021

    Hi there, you can download an app that will help you identify any kind of plant. I love using PictureThis. It's free and really easy to use. You can find the installation here - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cn.danatech.xingseus&hl=en (Android) and here - https://apps.apple.com/us/app/picturethis-plant-identifier/id1252497129 (iPhone)

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 11, 2024

    Honesty for sure! In the Autumn the seeds will form in round pods. When the seeds are ripe the outer green will peel off to reveal the seeds and the leave a silver pearl like disk Ideal for winter flower arrangements in the home!