Pronunciation: (o-doh-nis)
Family: Pheasant’s Eye, Red Morocco, RANUNCULACEAE

A favourite European and American annual not often seen in southern hemisphere gardens, the Pheasant’s Eye (Adonis aestivalis) is closely related to Ranunculus, with feathery, dark green foliage and 4cm/2in flowers like scarlet buttercups.

It enjoys light soil, moist and rich: should be sown in situ, late autumn or early spring. Seeds take 2 weeks to germinate and young plants should be thinned to about 30cm/12in spacing; they grow to 40cm/15in. Fertilize and water regularly, but don’t expect flowers till early or midsummer.

Adonis do well in light shade, prefer coastal or hill areas where night temperatures drop below 18C/65F. They wilt badly in extreme heat and are best left as a garden decoration, for the blooms shatter quickly when cut.

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