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Adonis aestivalis [ad-ON-iss, ee-STIV-ah-liss] is an annual herbaceous plant native to Europe but has been introduced in many parts of the world, such as the eastern and western regions of the United States, North Africa, Asia, and the Mediterranean region.
The plant has also been naturalized in many of these areas.
Adonis belongs to Ranunculaceae or buttercup family and is a hermaphrodite species, which means both staminate and carpellate parts are present in the same plant.
Pollen producing Staminate and ovule producing carpellate are male and female parts, respectively.
You may also hear it called by its common names including:
- Pheasant’s Eye
- Summer Pheasant’s Eye
Adonis Aestivalis Care
Size & Growth
The Summer Pheasant’s Eye is a small, self-fertile plant only growing up to 1’ foot.
It features an upright, branched, and leafy stem.
The leaves are soft, pale and fern-like and finely divided.
Despite its small size, it can inhibit the growth of other nearby plants, especially legumes.
Aestivalis falls into the category of plants called ‘weeds’ because it requires very little care to survive as well as seeds very easily.
Summer pheasant’s eye is often found as a weed in cereal fields, particularly corn fields.
When grown singly, the young plants may need to be supported with canes or twigs, especially in windy areas.
Flowering and Fragrance
The plant produces small crimson-colored, buttercup-like solitary flowers in summer.
The flowers emerge at the tips of stems.
The black-colored anthers and stamens provide a wonderful contrast against the red colored petals and make the flowers even more attractive.
The plant blooms in June, and by July the seeds are ripened and ready for pollination, which mainly occurs through beetles, flies, and bees.
The flowers usually last till September.
Light & Temperature
Pheasant’s eye can grow in both full sun and partial shade.
Watering and Feeding
The plant prefers moist soil, and need regular watering.
Soil & Transplanting
From sandy (light), to loamy (medium), and clay (heavy), Pheasant’s aestivalis can grow in a wide range of soils.
It can tolerate soil with any pH but prefers alkaline soil and a rocky site.
Pheasant’s eye also grows well in regular garden soil.
While it can tolerate any type of soil, it prefers moist and well-drained soil.
Grooming and Maintenance
Since it is a small plant, it does not need much maintenance.
Just make sure to leave adequate space between aestivalis and other plants as it may inhibit their growth.
Regularly remove the dead flower heads from the plant to prolong the flowering period.
Pheasant’s eye does not require pruning.
How to Propagate Pheasant’s Eye
Adonis is best propagated by sowing the ripe seeds directly into the ground (in situ) preferably in spring.
However, the seeds can be sown in autumn.
When planted in spring, the seeds start to germinate as the weather gets warm and the temperature rises to 64° – 68° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C – 20° C).
Under the right conditions, germination takes place within 30 to 40 days.
If planted in spring, the plant will start producing buds in the summer.
While the seeds of are best sown directly into the ground, they can be sown indoors, and planted outdoors when the conditions are better.
The plant can self-sow its seeds, each season.
Adonis Pheasant’s Eye Pest or Diseases
Pheasant’s Adonis is one of those plants remaining pest and disease-free.
However, in some cases, the flowers may suffer attacks by aphids requiring control.
Summer Pheasant’s Eye Uses
The plants are poisonous to horses.
The pheasant’s eye is also planted for ornamental purposes due to its large bright-red flowers to add color and appeal to landscapes.
Adonis aestivalis is best suited for borders, slopes, wild gardens and as a small balcony garden idea.