These hardy perennials and annuals belong to the Buttercup family Ranunculaceae. There is a legend that this plant grew up from the blood of Adonis when he was wounded by a wild animal. These plants, also known as Pheasant's Eye or Flower of Adonis, grow from 6 inches to a foot high, and the same wide. They form clumps of green, fern-like foliage. A. brevistyla is a perennial that is native to damp forests, scrub, and rocky ravines of Bhutan and West China. Its flowers resemble small Buttercups and they grow from the ends of thin stems in early summer. They are white stained with blue underneath. A. vernalis is a perennial that grows wild in dry rocky scrub and grasslands from Europe to Russia and Finland. The bright yellow flowers are shaped like small cups and they are produced in early spring. A. amurensis's flowers resemble those of A. brevistyla, except they are bright yellow on top tinted with bronze underneath. This perennial is found wild in mountain meadows of Manchuria, Korea and Japan.
Pheasant's Eyes need sandy soil that has had leaf mold or compost added; the soil should be moist, but well-drained. It is beneficial to A. vernalis if the soil was alkaline. These plants can be planted in a sunny or partially shaded spot. A. brevistyla needs a position sheltered from cold, dry winds.
They may be divided when they've finished flowering or fresh seeds may be sown in sandy soil in late summer, though they are ordinarily slow to germinate.
- A. brevistyla;
- A. vernalis;
- A. amurensis;
- A. pyrenaica.
- A. aestivalis (deep red flowers);
- A. annua (bright red flowers).