Adonis (plant)

Adonis is a genus of about 20–30 species of flowering plants of the crowfoot family, Ranunculaceae, native to Europe and Asia.

Adonis vernalis - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-152.jpg
Adonis vernalis, spring pheasant's eye
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae
Subfamily: Ranunculoideae
Tribe: Adonideae
Genus: Adonis

See text

The species grow to 10–40 centimetres (3.9–15.7 in) in height, with feathery, finely divided leaves. Their flowers are red, yellow or orange and have 5–30 petals. The Autumn Adonis, pheasant's-eye (A. annua), has flowers with bright red petals.

The generic name Adonis refers to the mythical character Adonis, a lover of the goddess Aphrodite or Venus, and of Persephone, goddess of the underworld. Red flowers of the Adonis genus are said to have grown from the grave of Adonis, after he was slain by a wild boar possessed with unusual viciousness through instigation by the jealous Ares.[1] According to the Metamorphoses of Ovid[2] the anemone, also of the family Ranunculaceae, was created when Venus sprinkled nectar on his blood.

Selected speciesEdit

Cultivation and usesEdit

They are cultivated for use in gardens, and have been introduced to North America. Adonis spp. contain poisonous chemicals similar to those found in many other genera in the Ranunculaceae.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kerényi, Kàroly (17 January 1980). The Gods of the Greeks. Thames Hudson. ISBN 0500270481.
  2. ^ Ovid Metamorphoses X 519-741

External linksEdit