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Adonis annua

(Autumn Adonis)


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Common Names

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Common Names in English:

Autumn Adonis, Bird's-Eye, Blood-Drops, Blooddrops, Pheasant´s-Eye, Pheasant's Eye, Pheasant's-Eye

Common Names in Italian:

Fior D'adone


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Family Ranunculaceae

Herbs perennial or annual , sometimes subshrubs or herbaceous or woody vines . Leaves basal and cauline, alternate, rarely opposite or whorled , simple or variously compound , palmately nerved, rarely penninerved , with or without stipules. Inflorescence a simple or compound monochasium, dichasium, simple or compound raceme, or flowers solitary. Flowers bisexual , sometimes unisexual , actinomorphic , rarely zygomorphic, hypogynous. Sepals 3--6 or more, free , petaloid or sepaloid , imbricate or sometimes valvate in bud. Petals present or absent, 2--8 or more, free, usually with nectaries. Stamens numerous , rarely few, free; filaments linear or filiform ; anthers latrorse , introrse , or extrorse ; sometimes some sterile stamens becoming staminodes. Carpels numerous or few, rarely 1, free, rarely connate to various degrees ; ovary with 1 to many ovules. Fruit follicles or achenes, rarely capsules or berries . Seeds small, with abundant endosperm and minute embryo.

About 60 genera and 2500 species: worldwide, but richly represented in N temperate regions , particularly in E Asia; 38 genera (four endemic) and 921 species (604 endemic) in China.[1]

Physical Description

Species Adonis annua

Herbs, annual , taprooted. Stem 1, 10-40 cm. Leaves: basal leaves 2-5 cm, similar to cauline, petiolate ; cauline leaves sessile or subsessile . Leaf blade 2-3-pinnatifid. Flowers 1.5-2.5 cm diam.; sepals appressed to petals, broadly obovate , ± erose in distal 1/3, minutely ciliate , otherwise glabrous ; petals 6-10, spreading , dark red [orange to red-purple], usually with dark basal blotch , ±plane, 8-15 mm, ca. 1.5 times length of calyx, apex slightly erose; stamens 15-20; anthers purple-black (olive green with age) ; pistils 20-30. Heads of achenes short-cylindric, 13-20 × 6-10 mm; pedicels conspicuously exserted well beyond leaves. Achenes 3-5 mm, glabrous, adaxial margin nearly straight, abaxial keel gibbous , not toothed ; beak straight, erect , 0.5-1 mm. Flowering spring-summer (Apr-Jun). [source]

Adonis annua also has been reported for the lower Mississippi Valley (W.C. Muenscher 1980), Ontario and Manitoba (H. J. Scoggan 1978-1979, part 3), some of the western states, and New England. I have not found more recent records to confirm abundance of the species in those regions. Muenscher's report was presumably based on J. K . Small (1933), who cited the species as abundant along newly built levees of the Mississippi River . Although the species may escape frequently in some areas, the populations are often tenuously established and tend not to persist. Records of A. annua from western states were based on misidentified A. aestivalis. [source]

Herbarium specimens without mature achenes may be impossible to distinguish from the closely related Adonis aestivalis, which differs in achene morphology and, reportedly, a slight difference in orientation of sepals and petals. [source]

Several infraspecific taxonomies have been proposed for Adonis annua ; none are well supported by observations in the field (C. C. Heyn and B . Pazy 1989). [source]

Petal color has been variously reported; in the flora only dark red with a dark basal blotch is confirmed by herbarium specimens. [source]

Habit: Forb/herb


Prairies, fields , river banks, and waste places; 100-200 m (Ref. 51328).

Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 2,040 meters (0 to 6,693 feet).[2]


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Duration: Annual


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Adonis autumnalis Linnaeus


Publishing author : L. Publication : Sp. Pl. 1: 547 1753 [1 May 1753]

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Adonis

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 4 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

A. aestivalis (Pheasants Eye) · A. amurensis 'Pleniflora' (Birdseye) · A. annua (Autumn Adonis) · A. vernalis (Ox-Eye)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 11, 2007:



  1. Wencai Wang, Dezhi Fu, Liang-Qian Li, Bruce Bartholomew, Anthony R. Brach, Bryan E. Dutton, Michael G. Gilbert, Yuichi Kadota, Orbélia R. Robinson, Michio Tamura, Michael J. Warnock, Guanghua Zhu & Svetlana N. Ziman "Ranunculaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 6 Page 133. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. Mean = 151.470 meters (496.949 feet), Standard Deviation = 190.480 based on 1,284 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
Last Revised: 2014-05-14