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ADONIS annua

Image of Adonis annua

Jesse Saylor

Family

Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name

ADONIS annua

Plant Common Name

Autumn Adonis, Pheasant's Eye

General Description

Small, scarlet buttercups are the glory of the annual pheasant's eye. A wildflower of field and meadow, natural populations exist on calcareous soils across much of Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa and western Asia. Each bloom has very dark anthers giving the appearance of a bird's or pheasant's eye. Flowering occurs from late spring to midsummer.

Seeds germinate in late winter or spring, and plants have very finely dissected ferny foliage that's pale or bright green. Small red flowers appear on the branch tips in late spring or early summer and continue flowering into midsummer. Insects pollinate the flowers, followed by ovoid seedheads that turn brown and release a modest number of seeds. These can remain in the seedbank for a number of years before germinating.

Grow in full sun and limey soils that are light and friable. Unlike most wildflowers, pheasant's eye is not too weedy and aggressive. It is most at home in naturalistic wildflower plantings. Sow seeds in late fall or early spring.

Characteristics

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    6"-10" / 15.2cm - 25.4cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Mediterranean, Northern Africa, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red, Crimson, Black

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Lime Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Lime Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes