The common names for Adonis (which can be either a hardy annual or perennial) include Pheasant's eye, False Hellebore, Sweet Vernal and Red Morocco.
The annuals typically flower in the summer, whereas the perennials flower in the early spring.
Adonis genus members are usually low growing plants, though some species can reach 20 inches (50 cm) in height.
Adonis annuals and perennials bear yellow, red, or white flowers resembling those of buttercups.
As a consequence of the perennials being very early flowering, they are great to use in the garden to bring some much needed colour following the winter.
Adonis plants can look wonderful when grown against pathways or in a rockery.
Adonis aestivalis picture by Duendecillo
Adonis vernalis photograph by Gernot Hochmueller.
The Adonis genus, which comprises of about 30 species belongs to the Ranunculaceae family of flowering plants, the buttercups, which contains over 2,000 species.
Some of the most commonly grown species in the garden include Summer Pheasants eye (Adonis aestivalis); Pheasant's eye also known as Blooddrops (Adonis annua); Spring Pheasant's eye, False Hellebore, Sweet Vernal (Adonis vernalis); Far East Amur Adonis (Adonis amurensis); and Pyrenean Adonis (Adonis pyrenaica).
The plants can range in height from 4 inches (10 cm) to 16 inches (40 cm) and usually have feathery leaves.
The number of petals is widely variable between individual species, from as little as five petals to as many as thirty.
Adonis annua (Pheasant's-eye / Adonis' flower / Autumn Adonis / Red chamomile), picture by manuel m. v.; CC.
This plant is an annual that is usually found in corn fields.
Adonis annua can reach 20 inches (50 cm) in height.
It carries beautiful red/scarlet flowers. As with other Adonis plants, the foliage consists of feathery leaves.
This plant flowers in June and July.
This is a perennial plant native to the mountains between France and Spain.
It reaches between 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) in height, and carries large flowers of gold/yellow.
Adonis vernalis (Spring Pheasant's Eye / Yellow Pheasant's Eye / False Hellebore), picture by Björn S...; CC.
This is a perennial that is native to the steppes of Europe.
The plant is a medicinal plant that contains a compound (glycoside Adonidin) that is used in the treatment of heart conditions.
As one of the common names suggests this member of the Adonis genus flowers in the spring. It has flowers that are yellow/gold in colour.
Adonis amurensis (Amur Adonis / Pheasant's Eye), photograph by 阿橋 HQ; CC.
It is best to sow Adonis seeds outdoors, sow on the surface then cover with a dusting of soil.
They should be planted with a spacing of 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 inches), in spring (annuals) or in the autumn (perennials).
Plants prefer partly shady conditions, but can be grown in full sunlight as long as the soil is kept moist.
The soil type should be moist and sandy. Plants perform best in a soil with a pH between 6 and 8.
Adonis are generally easy plants to look after.
Perennial varieties require fertilizer, and a thick mulch in the winter.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Adonis. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: